Christmas gets switched on in Barnstaple tonight

Town Christmas lights

Barnstaple to sparkle for Christmas - Credit: Submitted

Christmas has arrived in Barnstaple.

The town centre is gearing up for the big Christmas lights switch-on event on Thursday that will herald the start of the 'Welcome back to Barnstaple' campaign.  

The campaign, launched by Barnstaple Town Centre Management, together with North Devon Council, aims to reassure residents that the town centre festivities can be enjoyed safely, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The switch-on event has been staggered to take place across the town centre to avoid overcrowding. Barnstaple TCM says the evening will be the perfect start to the Christmas season and a great opportunity to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat or drink in one of the town's fantastic local bars and restaurants. 

Activities taking place include: 

  • Green Lanes, midday to 8pm. Santa will be arriving in his Magical Mistletoe Lodge. Take a journey through the wondrous winter tundra and step beyond the icy igloo to reach Santa’s magical mistletoe lodge. Turn up and pay at the door. The cost is £8 per child. 

  • The Square, 6pm to 6.30pm. The Square lights will be turned on, followed by some festive music from local rock and pop choir, Dynamix.  

  • The Strand, 4pm to 8pm. Free festive fun including Elf Workshop, Mini Steam Train, Giant Snow Globe, Magic and live music. At 6.15pm the lights will be turned on, followed by carols with Barnstaple Ladies Choir and live music from Tamsin Ball. 

  • High Street. Look at out for the Winter Fairy who will light up the High Street as she walks through town, including the new lights in honour of Lisa Wallis, the founder of local charity Chemohero. 

  • The Pannier Market, 6pm to 8pm. Late night market featuring some very special festive performances, with Stagecoach Performing Arts North Devon at 6pm, laser shows at 6.30pm, 6.45pm and 7.30pm, and Dynamix rock and pop choir performing at 7pm. 

Barnstaple Town Centre Manager Hannah Harrington said: "We are excited about this year's Barnstaple lights switch-on after what has been a very difficult couple of years for businesses and residents alike. It will be a little different this year because our main focus is making sure the entertainment can be enjoyed safely. With that in mind, we have staggered events and spread them across the town centre rather than gathering in one location. This won't take anything away from the festive atmosphere though and we hope visitors will take the opportunity to enjoy the festivities alongside a little Christmas shopping and a spot of dinner with our brilliant local businesses." 

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Visitors are being advised that numbers in the Pannier Market will be limited. The laser show, which is being put on by AW Services in support of ChemoHero, contains bright flashing lights and images that make it unsuitable for those with photosensitive epilepsy.  

Parking will be free at North Devon Council car parks in Barnstaple (and across the district) on Thursday November 25 - and on every Thursday until December 23 - from 3pm until charges resume the following morning.  

More details and the full programme of Christmas activities can be found on the Live Love Local events webpage


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