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Our guide to the Cambridge Christmas lights Big Switch On 2022 - with all the timings

Christmas lights switch-on events are returning to Cambridge for the first time since 2019 - and this year there will be two events.

The Covid pandemic forced the traditional switch-on festivities to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021, but Cambridge BID has announced that they will return this month.

The Big Switch On event in Cambridge in 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham
The Big Switch On event in Cambridge in 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham

Events will take place on Thursday, November 17 at the Cambridge Railway Station site, before the Big Switch On event in the city centre on Sunday, November 20.

Here are all the details you need.

Lights switch-on at Cambridge Railway Station

The Christmas tree lights will go on at the city’s main train station on Thursday, November 17 at an event organised by Cambridge BID in partnership with Star Radio.

Star’s drivetime presenter Josh Lovatt will do the honours and kick off Christmas in the CB1 area of the city.

He’ll be bringing his decks and party tunes and no doubt playing a few Christmas tunes to get you in the mood.

Bars and restaurants in the area will provide the refreshments as the lights are switched on at around 6pm.

And there will be a chance to win some Love Cambridge gift cards to spend on your loved ones (or you could treat yourself…)

Big Switch On

The Big Switch On in Cambridge in 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham
The Big Switch On in Cambridge in 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham

Attention then turns to the market square on Sunday, November 20 for the main event.

The Big Switch On kicks off the city’s Christmas season, and Star Radio will be taking to the stage to entertain crowds and shoppers from midday, with a packed programme of local clubs, choirs and performers. You can see the full schedule below.

Cambridge United players and Marvin the Moose will join the mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Mark Ashton, to do the honours and switch on the city centre’s Christmas lights at 5pm.

Becky Burrell, marketing manager at Cambridge BID, said: “We are working hard to deliver a fabulous event this year. It’s been missing for the last couple of years and although we worked to deliver an on-air and online event, it’s not quite the same so we are really looking forward to seeing and hearing all of the fantastic performances again this year.’

Josh Lovatt, Star drivetime presenter, added: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be part of the festive sparkle in Cambridge. The Christmas lights switch-ons are amongst our favourite events of the year – and we’re excited to host them in person once again. We can’t wait to see everyone’s Christmas jumpers!”

Market square schedule - Sunday November 20

  • 12pm 4th Dimension
  • 12.30pm On Stage Performing Arts
  • 1pm Castle School
  • 1.30pm Safira
  • 2pm Stagecoach Cambridge
  • 2.20pm Vocal Remix
  • 2.45pm The Collaboration Choir
  • 3.30pm Razzamatazz
  • 4pm Coleridge Community College
  • 4.30pm Tom Korni
  • 5pm The Big Switch On
  • 5.10pm Magenta Slipperz

Meanwhile the Grand Arcade has unveiled the line-up for its festivities.

Its light will already be on, so it is not having a switch-on, but there will be entertainment throughout the day at the shopping centre:

  • 12pm Vocal Remix
  • 12.30pm Stagecoach Performing Arts
  • 1pm Cambridge Schol of Visual and Performing Arts
  • 1.30pm Bodywork Dance Studio
  • 2.30pm The 29th Funktion
  • 3pm Layla-Jane Music
  • 3.30pm Abi Dhese-Biggs
  • 4pm The Collaboration Choir

Look out for our special coverage of the festivities in the Cambridge Independent, out from November 23.

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