Christmas Lights Switch On

Date 23rd Nov

Location Flag Market

Timings 5.30pm


Saturday 23rd November, Flag Market


Preston is set to be ‘lit up’ during the glittering Christmas Lights Switch On, on Saturday 23rd November from 5.30pm.

The city centre lighting scheme, funded by BID and Preston City Council, will span more than 1.5 miles and feature hundreds of thousands of super-bright LED bulbs which are 70% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.

The Flag Market will once again be packed with thousands of people as the city officially starts its countdown to Christmas. The event, funded by city centre businesses and organised by the BID, is being staged in partnership with Smooth Radio North West – the region’s largest commercial radio station.

Featuring a packed bill of performers, the event will include something for all the family, before the switching on of the lights at around 7.45pm.

Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: “The Switch On is the city’s biggest free family show attracting thousands of people very year.

“Thanks to our partners and sponsors this year’s event is set to be even better with some great performers lining up for the show.

“Everyone’s invited; we look forward to seeing thousands of people making their way to the city centre and helping us launch Christmas in the Preston”.

The show will include an exclusive performance from ‘Boyz on Block’, a band fused together with leading members of some of the 90’s and 00’s biggest boy bands. With a collective fifteen number ones and having sold more than 30million records, Boyz On Block will perform some of the smash hits from their respective bands, Five Another Level, Phats and Small and Boyzone.

The stage show will also feature a vocal performance, from Chloe Rose.  Chloe is singer, ‘Tik Tok’ star and influencer with an online following close to 5million. Younger members of the family will have the chance to enjoy a ‘live’ stage-performance from superheroes Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, stars of the hit PJ Masks series.

Local signed singer songwriter Harvey Brittain and his band will join the line-up which will also feature a upbeat set from ‘Ska Face’ a ten-piece ska and two-tone band from the county.

Completing the line up, with a music career spanning more than 40 years, American Soul and RnB sensation Alexander O’Neal will be performing live at the event.

O’Neal, signed by Prince to Warner Records, has released 18 albums and sold tens of millions of records across the world, spending more than 100 weeks in the UK charts.

His back catalogue from the golden age of 80’s soul includes hits such as ‘Criticize’, ‘Fake’, ‘If You Were Here Tonight’, ‘Saturday Love’, ‘Never Knew Love Like This’, ‘Secret Lovers’ and many more.

Alex’s performance will include some of the legendary hits from his Platinum-selling albums that shot him to fame on both sides of the Atlantic.

An event spokesperson added: “Having Alex perform at the Switch On is a great coup – his timeless compositions and dancefloor classics will create a great vibe and a truly memorable performance that will get the crowd singing along.”

Group Programme Director of Smooth Radio North West, Jamie Griffiths, said: “We are so excited to turn on Preston’s lights with an evening of festive fun.

“The Christmas lights switch-on is always a huge event in Preston, attracting thousands to the city. Thank you to the people of Preston for continuing to tune into their favourite relaxing music mix as we celebrate another year as the region’s biggest commercial radio station.* ”

The event is sponsored by: St George’s Shopping Centre, Preston’s College, The Walker Williams Group, Walton’s Coach Hire and The Fishergate Shopping Centre.

Before taking to the Switch On stage as a trio, characters from PJ Masks will also be making an appearance in The Fishergate Shopping Centre (12.30pm-1.10pm Owlette) and St George’s Shopping Centre (2.00pm – 2.40pm Catboy) on the day of the event, pop along and meet the characters and have your picture taken!

For more information visit the Facebook event by clicking HERE.


Preston City Council – Penny Street Car Park
Saturday 23rd November for the Christmas Lights Switch On free after 3pm
Sunday 1st December free after 1pm Late night shopping day(s)
w/c 2nd December free after 3pm Saturday
7th December free after 1pm
Sunday 8th December free after 1pm Late night shopping day(s)
w/c 9th December free after 3pm
Saturday 14th December free after 1pm
Sunday 15th December free after 1pm Late night shopping day(s)
w/c 16th December free after 3pm
Saturday 21st December free after 1pm
Sunday 22nd December free after 1pm
Monday 23rd December free after 3pm
Tuesday 24th December free after 1pm

Notes: (From the date and time shown until midnight the same day), there is no maximum time of waiting during the free parking periods, w/c is week commencing.

UCLan – Leighton and Roeburn Car Parks
W/C 9th December, free each Thursday evening until 9.00pm
Saturdays and Sundays from 7th – 22nd December, free until 6.00pm



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What is Preston BID?

Who Is benefitting?

  • Stimulates wellbeing and economic growth
  • Gives competitive regional advantage
  • Develops partnership between private & public sector
  • Encourages corporate social responsibility
  • Provides sustainable investment for on-going capital projects/services
  • Creates a positive sense of place and enhanced community pride
  • Destination events in the city centre
  • Profiling of their home/city
  • Opportunity for businesses to have “a voice”
  • Increased footfall
  • Fairer to smaller businesses
  • Fair system, those that invest, benefit