Christmas lights switch-on event today


The festive season will launch in Newport today with music, celebrities, fairground rides, fireworks and the switching on of the city’s Christmas lights.

This year’s Countdown to Christmas event runs from 3pm to 5.30pm in the city centre and is organised and delivered by Newport Now BID in partnership with Newport City Council, Friars Walk and Newport City Radio with support from Welsh Government via the Transforming Towns fund.

Reformed 90s chart toppers Five are topping the bill on the main Countdown to Christmas stage – at the junction of Charles Street and Commercial Street – and will be playing their greatest hits from 4.15pm.

They will be supported by three local acts chosen by online community station Newport City Radio.

Unfortunately, Newport band Eurekas have had to pull out of the event after one of their members tested positive for Covid but they will be replaced by the band’s singer Jack Perrett who will play a solo set.

Also playing on stage ahead of Five will be popular local duo Oxbowlake and solo singer-songwriter Josh Hicks.

Love Island 2021 winner Liam Reardon will link up with Newport four-year-old Laiah-Rose Palmer, who is battling against leukaemia, to press the button and switch on the city’s Christmas lights at 5pm.

They will be joined on stage by Mayor of Newport, Councillor David Williams, council leader Councillor Jane Mudd, and Father Christmas.

There will then be a firework display from 5.20pm. This is best viewed from John Frost Square, Usk Plaza or the City of Newport Footbridge.

The event will also include fairground rides along Commercial Street from 10am to 6.30pm and the riverfront from noon to 9pm.

There will be costume characters on parade in Commercial Street and High Street with children’s face painters also in attendance in the Kingsway Centre.

As a non-ticketed outdoor event, Countdown to Christmas is not subject to any specific Covid restrictions. However, people should not attend if they have any symptoms of Covid or if they or anyone in their household has tested positive.