Is Manchester the UK capital of Christmas?

Thousands of people flocked to Manchester city centre for the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, with the city declaring itself the UK's Christmas capital.

The Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on, in association with Key 103, has become the beginning of Christmas for generations of Manchester people, and this year was no exception.
The city centre squares became Britain's biggest pop venue for the night as thousands of people watched the spectacular show live in Albert Square and via live web streams beamed across the globe.

International star Sigala became the first DJ to headline the Christmas Lights Switch-on at Albert Square, followed by Pixie Lott and boy band YES LAD.

The stars of the Manchester’s stage shows ELF: The Musical at the Lowry, Shrek at the Palace Theatre, and Guys and Dolls playing at the Exchange Theatre, gave the crowds something to dance about, previewing their huge productions that will be playing throughout the festive season.

Opening the show was the cast of Little Women – who will take their show to the award winning Hope Mill Theatre – and the incredible moves of the Dancehouse Academy showing of the amazing moves of Street Dance.

The event concluded with a 10 minute fireworks spectacular.

Manchester’s biggest red resident – the iconic Giant Santa – was also turned on for the first time.

Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for schools, culture and leisure, said: “But of course this is only the beginning as Manchester will be transformed next week when the world-famous, award-winning Christmas Markets return next Friday!”

Manchester’s award winning Christmas Markets will open officially to the public next week on Friday, 10 November spreading across 10 sites in the city centre with more than 300 stalls.

Stuart Goulden

Lead Consultant