Christmas Starts With A Bang In Newport City Centre


Calling all families - Saturday 12th November marks the start of the countdown to Christmas in Newport city centre with the city’s official Christmas Lights switch on as the finale to a day of colourful, festive entertainment throughout the city centre that will feature pop favourites Union J, Heart FM Breakfast Show presenters Jagger and Woody, a host of local talent Including Defying Gravity, Tobias Robertson and more to be announced…and of course the big man himself, Santa Claus.

Putting the sparkle into Newport’s Christmas celebrations, there will be a spectacular stage show at the junction of Charles Street and Commercial Street starting at noon with the switch on at 5pm on the 12th. The headline act is Union J who reached the final of the X Factor in 2012, before signing a record deal with Sony and reaching number six on the UK Albums Chart with their first album, followed by a host of hit singles. 

Newport’s Mayor, Councillor David Atwell, Mayoress Carole Atwell, and the Leader of the Council, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, plus players from Newport Gwent Dragons will switch on the Christmas Lights.

There will be a real buzz throughout the city centre from Commercial St, through High St, Friars Walk and along the riverfront, with a funfair, costume characters, face painter, pet farm and more. Santa’s Grotto will officially open upstairs in Newport’s historic Market on the 12th, and Santa will also be in the city centre with an early Christmas present for the children. His Grotto will be in the Market right up until Christmas, where children can visit and get a photo with Santa.


The festivities are produced this year by Newport Now, the business-led body which supports and promotes the city centre. Newport Now Chair Alan Edwards said: “We’re working in close collaboration with Newport Council, Newport Norse and Friars Walk on this year’s countdown to Christmas, to make sure the people of Newport get the festivities off to the best possible start by creating a real spirit of Christmas in the heart of the city.”

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “We hope people will join us for what promises to be a great start to a fabulous festive season in the city.

“We will also be marking the first anniversary of Friars Walk which complements both existing and new business in the wider city centre. Come along on 12 November for a fun, family evening and then support all our local businesses by buying your presents and food in the run-up to the big day.”

Friars Walk will be celebrating their first anniversary on November 12, combining a day of family fun with the start of Christmas celebrations. They will be hosting top class street entertainment, including the wonderful Bjorn the Bear, and comic capers courtesy of festive grannies on scooters and some rather mischievous elves!

Youngsters can get hands-on and creative throughout the afternoon, indulging in new interactive arts installations as well as sports activities courtesy of Newport Gwent Dragons and their community team. There is a chance to meet some of their players, get your photo taken and be in with a chance of winning some match tickets.

Add a sprinkling of music and a dash of fireworks, and you have the perfect start to the Christmas season.