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Festive fun begins as Christmas lights are switched on

Festive fun begins as Christmas lights are switched on
09 November 2022

Panto star Christopher Biggins will be spreading festive joy when he joins Santa to switch on the Christmas lights on Sunday 20 November.

Crowds in the Market Place will be entertained by TFM, a gospel choir, Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen, the Grinch and a host of fairytale princess from 4-5.30pm.

The event, sponsored by Homes by Esh, will end with a burst of fireworks to officially welcome Christmas to town..

Our lighting team has been busy installing lights around the town centre and will be putting the finishing touches to the town’s Christmas tree in time for the big switch on.

The switch on marks the start of a full programme of festive fun in the town. Our first Christmas tree festival will see community groups and schools designing and decorating trees to be displayed in town centre windows from Monday 21 November to Wednesday 23 December.

The popular ice sculpture trail returns on Saturday 3 and 10 December and there will be even more frozen fun with an ice rink. There will be a speciality Christmas market on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December so you can pick up gifts and festive treats.

Jonathan Dulston, leader of the council, said: “Darlington is definitely the place to be this Christmas for festive family fun. There is so much happening across the town centre in the run up to the big day – I can’t wait for everyone to come down and get involved.”

Collin Willetts, deputy managing director at Homes by Esh, said: “We are proud to sponsor this year’s Christmas lights switch on. As a local housebuilder within the area, we are committed to giving back to the community as well as supporting local events. The official light switch on is a great opportunity for families and friends to come together this festive season and we’re delighted to play our part in this."

Host for the event Steve Furnell from the TFM Radio Breakfast Show said: “This event is one of the highlights of the year for me and Karen. The Darlington crowd is always up for some great festive fun  and we can’t wait to see everyone on the night.”

Christopher Biggins is playing Mrs Smee in the Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at Darlington Hippodrome from 10 - 31 December. Tickets are on sale at

There are more details of our Christmas events at and on our social media pages.


“Darlington is definitely the place to be this Christmas for festive family fun”

- Jonathan Dulston, leader of the council

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