The Christmas countdown in Leeds officially starts with the annual Leeds Lights Switch On which takes place on Victoria Gardens outside Leeds Art Gallery on Thursday 9 November from 6:45pm.
Rugby League heroes The Leeds Rhinos will get the festive season officially underway as guests of honour at this year’s fantastic Leeds Christmas lights switch on.
Members of the playing squad and coaching staff will be joined by club mascot Ronnie the Rhino and the Super League Trophy along with departing club legends Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow who will have the special honour of flicking the switch and turning on the city’s Christmas lights..
Hosted by Heart Breakfast’s Dixie and Emma, the annual seasonal showpiece takes place in front of Leeds Art Gallery on Thursday, November 9 with entertainment starting from 6.45pm.
Joining the Rhinos will be Leeds Contemporary Singers (LCS), who wowed judges and the public on their way to competing against thirty of the best vocal groups in the UK, taking the BBC’s inaugural Pitch Battle crown in July.
Back by popular demand and ahead of the release of the new Star Wars film Britain’s Got Talent sensations Boogie Storm will once again be taking us to a galaxy far, far away with a new routine featuring a dance-off with some well-known super-heroes.
Cbeebies presenters Alex Winters and Ben Cadjee will entertain the crowds with a festive singalong along with panto favourite Jez Edwards, who will be appearing as Simon Trott in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Carriageworks Theatre. Also performing at the event is Danny Colligan, a finalist in Gary Barlow’s musical TV show Let it Shine, who is also starring in the Carriageworks panto this year.
And opening the show will be the spectacular Leeds Rock Choir performing a selection of well-known contemporary hits along with a Christmas medley with original vocal arrangements. Rock Choir is the original and most popular amateur contemporary choir in the UK with more than 20,000 members and rehearsals in more than 300 towns nationwide.
Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Jane Dowson will be on hand along with Children’s Mayor Isla Bentley from Gildersome Primary school. Also joining the celebrations will be the 2017 Breeze Has Talent winner, who will be announced at the competition finals on Sunday October 29 at the Carriageworks.
Other attractions on the night will include fun fair rides along Cookridge Street, with entertainment culminating in the big switch-on of one of the UK's largest displays of city centre festive illuminations and spectacular fireworks.
As part of the lights switch-on, the following road closures will also be in place on the night along with other traffic management measures:
-Headrow (Oxford Place to Albion Street): 6pm to 8.45pm
-Cookridge Street (Headrow to St Annes Street): from 1pm
-Calverley Street (Headrow to Gt George Street): 8pm to 8.30pm
The Leeds Light switch-on marks the official start of the city’s ‘Make it Leeds this Christmas' campaign which will feature a number of special events and activities including the annual Christkindelmarkt on Millennium Square which starts on Friday 10 November from 10.30am.