Christmas Lights Switch-on and Tin Hat Fair

About the event

Children and adults dressed up with 'Merry Christmas' banner

This year's Christmas festivities will come to light in Hinckley on Friday 17 November with the cheerful start of 2023's Christmas Lights Switch-on festival. Celebrations will feature live entertainment, market stalls, late night shopping, a large fair and much more, all packed into the days and evenings of Friday 17 and Saturday 18 November. 

The festival will kick off on Friday 17 November at 4pm, with live musical performances on stage in the marketplace and a special guest appearance at 6.30pm, to illuminate Hinckley town centre ready for Christmas.

Afterwards, there will be a spectacular three-minute firework display, launched from Argents Mead park at 6.45pm. These fireworks are kindly sponsored by the Showman’s Guild.

At this children-friendly opening, younger ones are encouraged to get creative at the free children's crafts workshop in the United Reformed Church, which runs from 4.30 to 7.30pm. The Tin Hat Fair is going to be back in town for this year's celebrations and will be open on Friday between 4pm and 10pm and on Saturday between 12pm and 10pm.

The Christmas Lights Switch-on is accompanied by a bustling market which runs the entire length of Castle Street. The market is made up of Friday's market stall holders who have opted to stay on for the evening, a variety of arts and craft stalls, charity stalls raising funds for their chosen charity, and food and drink stalls. At the top of Castle Street, Santa can be found in his grotto. To visit the Grotto and receive a present from Santa, it is £5 per child (cash only) and all profits raised go to Against Breast Cancer.

The Atkins Building will also be hosting their own Christmas Fair on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Car parking is free on Friday 17 November after 3pm in all council-run car parks only. All relevant road closure information will be detailed on this website, as well as on One Network (  

Entertainment on the live stage

There will be entertainment on the live stage from 4pm on Friday. If you are a member of a local choir or theatre group, or are a local performer who would like to perform a couple of festive songs on the stage, please get in touch using our Cultural Services contact form

We are not able to offer payment for performances at this event. All performers must have their own public liability insurance cover with an indemnity of £5 million.

Late night opening

Many of the shops in the town centre will stay open until 8pm for the Christmas Lights Switch-on. A list of shops that will stay open will be published here nearer the time. Please contact us using our Town Centre contact form to be added to this list.

Apply for a stall

If you would like to have a stall at this event, please visit apply for a stall

Last updated: 15/09/2023 15:59