Christmas comes to Newcastle-under-Lyme on Sunday 21 st November.

This year the event is being scaled back due to the pandemic, but plenty of festive events and treats are planned to take place throughout the whole day.

Castle Artisan market is set to host 55 plus independent traders on the Stones whilst craft making activities and Victorian story telling will also be taking place along with carol singers, street food and fairground rides.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District manager, Alex Taylor says: “The decision was made by the BID board and in partnership with Borough Council leaders that as a town, we need to be mindful of infection rates being on the rise within the borough, and make a sensible and informed decision regarding public safety and trying to keep infection rates low by avoiding large crowds gathering, particularly around focal points such as a stage.

“To put on an event to the usual scale, which brings thousands of people into the town centre, would mean an event that could be jeopardised for all if tighter restrictions were brought into place. The last thing we would want would be to cancel an event that many people look forward to at Christmas time and therefore we made the final decision to move forward with a ‘low key’ switch on, which will comprise of activities throughout the course of the day including choirs, craft workshops, street food vendors and fairground rides.”

Castle Artisan market and festive activities will take place from 10am – 4pm and the light switch which will happen between 4:30pm & 6:00pm from a town centre secure location.

Alex added: “We’re looking forward to being joined by the winners of the Your Heroes ‘Child of Courage’ and ‘Future Star’ Awards who will be switching on the lights, as well as being joined by the presenters of 6 Towns Radio who will be broadcasting live from the town centre throughout the day to get the public in the Christmas spirit. We wanted the light switch on this year to be really community led and supportive of those who have faced difficult times during lockdown.

“During the past 6 months the town centre businesses have really pulled together and as a BID we want to encourage the community to pull together and support their local high street for presents, food and hospitality. We’ll be giving away vouchers throughout the day in person and on social media to be spent
in town centre businesses with a real focus on shopping local this Christmas.”

The Christmas lights switch on will kick start the beginning of a calendar of events in the town centre and local area which will comprise of festive markets from Castle Artisan, a Vegan market and lantern making workshops from B Arts.

Feast Stone will be bringing Feast to Newcastle on the 10th and 11th of December with street food vendors and live music from across the county and beyond plus ‘Get Stuffed’ will be offering up a one of a kind, street food twists on festive classics with real open log fires and a giant outdoor movie screen on Goose Street between 16th-20th December.

The Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Simon Tagg, said: “This year we have a really exciting and wide-ranging programme of Christmas entertainment to offer residents, families and visitors to Newcastle.
“From the launch and switch-on on Sunday 21 November, we can take the opportunity to enjoy the festive lights, the themed entertainment, the unique workshops and all of the other events on offer all over town right up to Christmas.
“While we look forward to the activities and events, we will also continue to follow the Covid secure guidance to protect ourselves and each other. I hope everyone has some fabulous festive fun and, if you’re driving in, remember to take advantage of the parking offers – free on the Midway multi-storey until 1pm and then only a pound for the rest of the day, every day – and free on all Council car parks every Sunday, all
year round.”

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