Christmas Lights switch on announced for Birmingham city centre with live entertainment in Cathedral Square

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A host of live entertainment is planned for a Christmas lights switch on in Cathedral Square in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District

Plans are underway for a spectacular Christmas celebration in Cathedral Square in Birmingham, featuring the popular Pigeon in the Park pub.

The food and gift stalls featuring local artisans and restaurants are ready to open in wonderful style with a special Christmas lights switch on. The market sits alongside the popular Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square and along New Street, and the Ice rink in Centenary Square, which opened last week and are already attracting thousands of visitors. Now exciting plans have been unveiled to mark the launch of Christmas in Cathedral Square.

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When are the Christmas lights being switched on in Colmore Business District and what is the live entertainment?

Delivered in partnership by Colmore BID, Birmingham City Council, Danter Attractions Ltd and Birmingham Cathedral, Christmas in Cathedral Square will take place in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral between Wednesday 15 November and Sunday 17 December 2023. 

The festivities will begin with a Christmas Light Switch-On at Wednesday 15 November from 6pm to 9pm. At the launch, visitors can enjoy a free evening of entertainment including with Colmore Business District’s Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Glynn Purnell pressing the button to illuminate the Christmas tree. This year Glynn will be joined by:

  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital mascot Bertie, 
  • Cast members from Birmingham Stage Company’s production of Horrible Histories: Horrible Christmas, ahead of their two performances at Symphony Hall (28 December), and 
  • Cast members from Birmingham Rep’s magical Christmas show Little Red Riding Hood (7 December to 6 January) including CBeebies presenter Nisha Anil. 

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Maureen Cornish, along with her Consort Malcolm Cornish, and Deputy Chair of Colmore BID, Alex Tross, will also join residents, vendors and performers to illuminate the District and begin the countdown to the festive season. 

Cathedral Christmas Market Colmore BIDCathedral Christmas Market Colmore BID
Cathedral Christmas Market Colmore BID

What else is happening at Christmas in Cathedral Square and the Pigeon in the Park pub?

Over the course of the event, visitors to Christmas in Cathedral Square can expect live music from local artists, roaming street acts, the Snowdog Art Trail, and traditional crafts, ornaments and gifts from an array of independent West Midland businesses. Stallholders include Summer & Silver, Miss Macaroon, Birmingham Balti Bowl Company and Funny Brummie Pictures.  

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There will also be a selection of pop-up food and drinks vendors, as well as the return of the much-loved Pigeon in the Park pub. Food and drinks vendors include Gaucho, Chatty Patty, Vagabond and Bab’s Tap. 

On Saturday 2 December, there will be a very special guest to Christmas in Cathedral Square as Father Christmas will pay the market a visit from 11am to 3pm. Father Christmas will walk around the Square offering a chance for families to meet him free-of-charge. Colmore BID will provide a photographer to give all families the opportunity to make unforgettable memories. All images will be uploaded to Colmore BID’s Facebook page for families to access. Father Christmas will have gifts of books and small craft activities for children on the day, also free-of-charge. 

Horrible Christmas cast on Symphony Hall Horrible Christmas cast on Symphony Hall
Horrible Christmas cast on Symphony Hall

What dates and times is the Christmas in Cathedral Square Market on?

Christmas in Cathedral Square will run from Wednesday 15 November to Sunday 17 December 2023. The market is open:

  • Monday to Wednesday from 11am to 8pm, 
  • Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 9pm, and 
  • Sunday from 12.30pm to 8pm. 

‘It promises to be a fun evening’

Alex Tross, Deputy Chair of Colmore BID commented, “I’m really looking forward to welcoming people back to our Christmas lights switch-on and the launch of this year’s Christmas in Cathedral Square, which officially marks the countdown to Christmas. 

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“Our beautiful tree outside the Cathedral, the colourful illuminations and the opening of the market are all key elements of the festive season here in the Colmore Business District, so it will be great to get everyone together again for what promises to be a fun evening.”

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