Hinckley's spectacular Christmas lights switch-on

Published Monday, 20 November 2023
A group of people stand in front of a box with a lever on it. They are smiling at the camera. Next to them on the far left of the photo is someone in costume - they are waving and dressed as a green dragon with purple front and red spikes

Crowds of residents filled Hinckley town centre on Friday night for another spectacular Christmas lights switch-on.

The event, sponsored by the borough council, saw the lights switched on in the town’s Market Place at 6.30pm.

Residents cheered as the Mayor of Hinckley and Bosworth, Councillor Scott Gibbens and special guest Snappy the Snapdragon, switched on the lights against a backdrop of festive music, played by Fosse 107 and filmed by a TV crew for the local news bulletin.

A spectacular four-minute firework display then took place in Argents Mead courtesy of the Showman’s Guild, which could be viewed across town. The party continued afterwards, with local musicians and bands Dean Thomas, Steven Faulkner and Hinckley Pride Rainbow Singers and others performing songs to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Festive shoppers were able to enjoy the range of stalls along Castle Street selling crafts, festive treats and tipples, as well as the Hinckley shops which remained open for light night shopping. A selection of charity stalls offered fun tombolas and prizes to take home, while cheeky elves wandered around town with their Elfie Selfie station.

Everyone’s favourite, John Parnell the ‘Hoop Guy’, also roamed the town centre as the world’s tallest elf, while Santa flew in from the North Pole to visit children in his grotto outside Jasper's on Castle Street. The grotto raised funds for breast cancer charities. The United Reformed Church on Regent Street provided free children’s Christmas craft activities.

Thrill-seekers were also able to enjoy the traditional Tin Hat fair, which was open on both Friday and Saturday on Regent Street.

Council Leader, Councillor Stuart Bray, said:

“The Christmas lights switch-on is always one of the biggest events of the year, and this year didn’t disappoint! It was fantastic to see so many residents getting into the festive spirit and enjoying the entertainment on display, and I saw a lot of happy faces. A huge thank you to everyone who helped to organise the event, as well as to those who came along and those who opened their businesses for late-night shopping.

“For those wanting to bring elderly and less mobile residents to view the lights I would recommend our Christmas lights trail on Wednesday 6 December from 6pm to 8pm. Driving through the town centre seeing the lights without all the crowds is a great opportunity and you and your passengers can also enjoy entertainment on the trail. This is a lovely evening and I hope as many people as possible will come along to enjoy it."

Hinckley Christmas lights tour

The annual Hinckley’s Christmas lights tour for elderly and disabled people will be held on Wednesday 6 December.

Castle Street will be open to traffic from 6pm to 8pm to allow members of the public to drive down with their elderly or disabled family and friends, allowing them to view the lights. There will be festive music and street entertainment along the route.