Manchester Christmas lights switch-on 2021: when & where it’s happening

We look at all we know so far about Manchester’s Christmas lights switch-on plans.

A previous Christmas lights switch on in Manchester Credit: Shutterstock

It’s traditionally attracted thousands of families but this year’s Christmas lights switch-on won’t involve a big public gathering due to ongoing concerns around the pandemic.

However, on Friday 12 November, a trail of light-up sculptures will be switched on near Piccadilly Gardens and St Peter’s Square - but there will be no organised, public event for people to gather watch the switch being flipped.

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On Saturday 13 November, there will be a free live Christmas entertainment, with puppets and performers roaming around Exchange Square, Market Street, St Ann’s Square King Street, Cross Street and Deansgate.

Manchester’s frontline health and social care workers will be invited to attend an event at Manchester Cathedral on 2 December at 6.45pm to see the city light up for Christmas and three NHS workers will be chosen to push the button.

A previous Christmas lights switch on in Manchester Credit: Shutterstock

Who turned on the city lights in previous years?

The last big switch-on event was pre-pandemic, in 2019, when The Voice singer Becky Hill flipped the switch.

In 2018, DJ Jonas Blue took the honour, while in 2017 DJ Sigala and singer Pixie Lott headed up the entertainment in Albert Square.