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Carlisle Christmas Lights Switch-On and Festive Events

[L]ocal dance groups and school choirs will join celebrity acts at this year’s Carlisle Christmas Lights Switch-On.

There will be a showcase of local community groups and performers – Stevie D’s Faith, The Lakes Choir – Stagecoach Performing Arts; Kira Tickner; Carlisle Dance Academy and Stanwix Primary School

The afternoon’s entertainment will also include a ‘stars of the future’ line up, including Jack Rose; Nathan Grisdale, Joseph and Thomas Teago.

The headline celebrity acts will be announced soon.

The free family event will be held between 2pm and 5.30pm on Sunday, 19 November.

Organised by Carlisle City Council, it will provide a packed family entertainment programme, to suit all ages. The star-studded Christmas Lights Switch On stage will be in place in the city centre pedestrianised area, outside the Old Town Hall.

The Mayor of Carlisle, Cllr Trish Vasey will trigger a galaxy of Christmas lights in the city centre at 5pm. The Christmas Lights Switch-On is part of Carlisle’s countdown to Christmas.

Cllr Anne Quilter, Portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure, said:

“The Christmas Lights Switch On is a great showcase for celebrity performers and local talent. The ‘stars of the future’ line up will be an opportunity to showcase up and coming entertainers. The event is not to be missed! ”

Visit for events information.

Carlisle Winter Lights

More than 48,000 winter lights are now illuminating Carlisle’s city centre.

As autumn draws in, 24 trees in the city centre have been given extra sparkle with clear, energy efficient LED lights to create an unmissable winter shopping atmosphere.

The winter lights create a tree-lined avenue of light and will be switched on from October half term and will remain in place until February half term to give the city centre an extra sparkle encouraging visitors, shoppers and residents to support local businesses.

The main lighting scheme, including garland lights, features and the 35-foot Christmas tree lighting, will be switched on at sparkling city centre event on Sunday 19 November.

Cllr Anne Quilter, Portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure, said: “A wide variety of city-centre events and car parking promotions are lined-up to boost the city’s Christmas spirit in the countdown to Christmas. Preparations are well underway for our Christmas Lights Switch On event on Sunday 19 November.”

Festive Carlisle programme:

Christmas Lights Switch-On

Carlisle city centre – Sunday 19 November, 2pm – 5.30pm

A packed family entertainment programme to suit all ages. The Christmas Lights Switch-On stage will be in place outside the Old Town Hall and will play host to a fabulous afternoon of free open-air entertainment. Join the countdown to Christmas and the festive lights switch on at 5pm.

Late Night Shopping

Every Thursday between 23 November and Thursday 21 December

A special offer is available for shoppers visiting Carlisle this festive season. Carlisle City Council is providing FREE parking after 3pm on the following Thursdays: 23 and 30 November & 7, 14 and 21 December in the following city centre car parks: Bitts Park; Caldew Riverside; Castle; Civic Centre; Lowther Street; Paddy’s Market; The Sands Centre; Viaduct and West Walls.

Carlisle Christmas Market

Carlisle city centre – Thursday 23 November – Saturday 2 December (9am – 5pm) and Sunday 3 December (10am – 4pm)

A showcase of local producers. Get your festive gifts and support local businesses.

Tullie House Late Night Shopping Club

Thursday 30 November, 7 and 14 December: 5pm – 7pm

Got some late-night Christmas shopping to do? Why not leave your little ones with the elves at Tullie House! They will have lots of fun Christmas activities, games and crafts to keep them entertained while you do your shopping uninterrupted. For 6 to 12 years old: £3.50 per child.

Carlisle Farmers’ Market

Carlisle city centre – Saturday 2 December

An all-day market showcasing local traders.

Carols at Christmas

Morton Community Centre’s festive event – Friday 2 December, 6.30pm

The festive event will be held in Morton Manor Community Centre, off Wigton Road. Following the carol service, mulled wine and mince pies will be available. All welcome.

Carlisle Market Hall Festive Fun Day

Market Hall – Saturday 9 December, 11am – 3pm

Carlisle’s Victorian Covered Market Hall will be filled with Christmas cheer on when it stages its Festive Fun Day. Santa and friends will be there handing out chocolate treats.

Christmas Remembrance Service

Crematorium Chapel – Saturday 9 December, 3pm

All proceeds to the Mayor’s Charity Fund.

Tullie House White Christmas Weekend

Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December: 11am – 4pm

Enjoy a White Christmas at Tullie House when they will be opening the doors to a whole weekend of festive fun! Activities include Santa’s Grotto, face painting, storytelling, Christmas trail, craft activities and real life artic animals including a snowy owl and Alaskan Malamute. Visit for admission prices.

Christmas Carol Parade

St Cuthbert’s Church – Thursday 14 December, starting at 6.15pm

This popular event will also include carol singing in the city centre followed by a Hog Roast in the historic Tithe Barn. Tickets for the Hog Roast will available on the night of the event.

Carlisle Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Grotto

Carlisle city centre – Saturday 16 – Thursday 21 December

11am – 4pm (Saturday – Wednesday) and 11am – 8pm (Thursday)

Take a magical journey through our sparkling festive extravaganza. Our magical marquee, based in the city centre, will include woodland creatures and Santa’s little helpers. Get your photo taken on a ski lift, plus get your free photo to take home. Children can also meet Santa in our glittering grotto. Entry for the grotto is £5 per child and will include a special Christmas gift from Santa. Remember to bring your letter to Santa, to post in the special post box on the day! Buy your tickets from the Carlisle Tourist Information Centre.

Tullie House Christmas Holiday Crafts

Tuesday 19, Thursday 21 and Saturday 23 December: 1pm – 4pm

Get yourselves in the festive spirit with their Christmas craft drop-ins. They will be making a range of crafts to decorate your home this Christmas – prepare to be glittered! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Sessions are free to those families with an annual ticket.

For further information about festive events in Carlisle, visit

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