Derby sparkles for Christmas Lights Switch-On 2019

Derby Christmas Lights switch on 2019 main stage

Thu 21 Nov 2019

Thousands enjoy festive parade and show

This year’s Christmas Lights Switch-On event has been declared a huge success after the event drew thousands of people to Derby city centre.

Crowds gathered at The Spot to watch a festive parade to The Market Place, where headlining act United Vibe, who shot to fame on X-Factor, entertained their very appreciative fans before the Mayor of Derby, Councillor Frank Harwood, pressed the button to switch on the lights.

The event on Saturday 16 November was presented by Derby LIVE, Derby City Council’s entertainment arm, and hosted by Smooth Radio East Midlands, the official radio station for the event.

It is estimated that more than 5,000 people watched the show in the Market Place, with many more lining the streets to watch the parade.

The line-up on the big stage in the Market Place included Jamie Joseph, an RnB soul singer and songwriter from Derby, and Derby-based contemporary folk-rock band The Newcranes. The Invisible Friends Choir, a UK registered charity which supports children and young people with invisible disabilities, put everyone in the mood for Christmas. The host was Smooth Radio East Midlands presenter Gareth Evans.

No Christmas Lights switch-on would be complete without stars from Derby’s pantomime, Peter Pan, which runs from Saturday 7 December to Saturday 4 January at Derby Arena. Thomas Grant, who plays Peter, was joined in the parade and onstage by Morgan Brind, all dressed up as the Dame, Aunt Hilda.  The British Sign Language Interpreter for the event was Sarah Gatford.

Homegrown talent formed the body of the parade, which was joined by families as it made its way from The Spot. The Saxophonix, a group from Hot House Music which provides outstanding opportunities for young musicians throughout the Midlands, were joined by The Glitter Belles performed by The World of Coco; Nadia Jane’s School of Dance, Dynamicmotif Dance and Performing Arts Academy; Upbeat Community Dance UC Dance; University of Derby Cheerleaders, and DanceBeats.

Santa made time in his busy schedule to be flown in especially for the event by Furthest From The Sea, prior to his residence with Mrs Claus and all the elves at Derby Market Hall’s Special Christmas Market on Saturday 7 December.

Derby’s upcoming urban artists, MCs and singers from local music and arts development organisation Baby People, joined the parade as it reached St Peters Cross, while walkabout acts Clock and Crown Walkabout Performers kept the crowds entertained.

After the event, The Invisible Friends Choir tweeted: “Such a magical night for TIF Derby singing just before United Vibe. They LOVED getting the people of Derby into the Christmas spirit!”

Hook your tickets now for Peter Pan here.