Everything you need to know about this year’s Altrincham Christmas Lights Switch-On

By David Prior at

We have all the details for Altrincham’s Parade of Light and Christmas lights switch-on event on Saturday 19th November.

After several years of under-investment in Christmas lights, and council funding no longer available, Altrincham Unlimited (the new name for Altrincham’s Business Improvement District) is investing in an enhanced Christmas lights display for 2016, with a mixture of cross street displays, lamp post designs and welcome messages at gateways to the town.

Alongside new Christmas lights in the Stamford Quarter shopping centre, they say it will make for “the best festive lights display in Altrincham display in recent years”.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

Lantern Making
Throughout the day children can join free lantern making sessions from 11.30am-3.30pm at 4 George Street (next door to House of Fraser) and at Art with a Heart (24 Stamford New Road, opposite the Clock Tower), ready for the parade later in the afternoon.

Live Music
There will be entertainment on the stage in Stamford Square (between House of Fraser and Wilko) with local choirs, bands and singers bringing some seasonal cheer, and Trafford Sound playing festive tunes throughout the afternoon.


Santa’s Grotto
Santa’s Grotto will be open at Art with a Heart (24 Stamford New Road, opposite Clock Tower) from 12-3pm, and this will also run on subsequent Saturdays up to 17th December. Designed by Art with a Heart volunteers in conjunction with the new Trafford Fab Lab, the theme of the Grotto will be the children’s classic, ‘It was the Night Before Christmas’. Visits to Santa will be free of charge, with donations welcome to Altrincham Unlimited’s chosen charity, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.

Children’s Characters
Look out for some familiar faces around Altrincham as we are joined by the casts of Frozen and Alice in Wonderland on Ice, plus dancing snowmen and Lightning Jack, the Manchester Storm mascot.

Parade of Light
At 4pm, bring your lantern to Shaw’s Road ready for the Parade of Light led by Captain Christmas and his Merry Band, which will depart at 4.30pm.

Switch-on Show with Key 103
Hosted by Key 103’s Darren Proctor, the Christmas lights switch-on show will begin just after 4.30pm as the Parade of Light arrives into Stamford Square. A fantastic line up of family entertainment will include local band Blank Cheque (back by popular demand after a brilliant set at the Goose Green Summer Festival), the cast of Altrincham’s Little Theatre’s Frozen and Little Belters children’s choir. The lights will be turned on by the lucky winner of Altrincham Unlimited’s Christmas Star competition, alongside a very special celebrity guest!

The show will last approximately 40 minutes, with the lights going on all around Altrincham at around 5.15pm.

Last year's switch-on event in the Stamford Quarter

Last year’s switch-on event in the Stamford Quarter

Katie Bland, Altrincham Unlimited Manager, said: “The Parade of Light and Switch-On Show are highlights of the Altrincham calendar, and we’ve worked hard to make 2016 extra special for Altrincham Unlimited’s first year in charge of the day.

“This event is only the beginning of a packed Christmas programme in Altrincham this year, with Christmas Markets every Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday, Santa’s Grotto at Art with a Heart on Saturdays until 17 December, late night Thursday shopping from 1 December and a Goose Green Christmas on Saturday 10 December all coming up.

“Altrincham’s reputation as a shopping and foodie destination continues to grow, and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the North West this Christmas.”

Watch last year’s switch-on: