Celebrate the start of the festive season with our magical lights switch-on events

Christmas lights switch-on events

Magical lights switch-on events in Eton, Windsor and Maidenhead this month will kick-off the start of the festive season in the Royal Borough.

You can see the spectacle of Eton’s lights switch-on in the High Street on Thursday 17 November, with food stalls, funfair rides, music and dancing, in and around Jubilee Square from 5pm.

The chapel service will be at 6pm, followed by a procession with Father Christmas and the switch-on itself in Jubilee Square at 7pm. 

With the majestic Windsor Castle as the backdrop, Windsor’s switch-on will take place in Castle Hill on Saturday 19 November, with a full programme of live festive performances from local groups, plus community stands and food stalls. The switch-on ceremony will be at 5.30pm by the Mayor, Councillor Christine Bateson, and the cast from the Theatre Royal Windsor’s Sleeping Beauty.

There will be performances on the community stage in Castle Hill from 3pm, and a Christmas street food market from 10am to 5pm in Peascod Street. The Windsor Royal Station shopping centre will be celebrating its 25th anniversary and will have a full programme of live entertainment between 10am and 4pm.

Maidenhead’s lights switch-on follows on Saturday 26 November, where the exciting countdown will begin outside the Town Hall just before 6pm, followed by a fireworks display, subject to weather conditions. The stars of Braywick Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk, Maidenhead Drama Guild’s Beauty and the Beast and Norden Farm’s One Snowy Night will be part of the celebrations. Joining them will be the winner of Norden Farm’s One Snowy Night competition who will have the honour of turning on the lights.

Ahead of the switch-on there will be a performance from Stagecoach Maidenhead and Dance Inspired, followed by Big Easy, Tuneless Choir and local band The Bottle Kids. From lunchtime Traylen’s funfair will be open on St Ives Road for all the family to enjoy.

To help you save when you shop, join our Resident Parking Discount Scheme, offering one hour’s free parking in six popular car parks, including Grove Road and West Street in Maidenhead, Alexandra Gardens and Alma Road in Windsor and Meadow Lane in Eton.

If you are a resident of the Royal Borough, you can apply for the virtual permits required, free-of-charge at https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/transport-and-streets/parking/resident-parking-discount-scheme. Those using electric vehicles can also park for free in our car parks. Apply for a free permit at https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/transport-and-streets/parking/resident-parking-permits/apply-electric-vehicle-pay-and-display-parking-permit.

To encourage use of public transport, there will be free travel on supported bus services on selected Saturdays leading up to Christmas, including the days of the Windsor and Maidenhead switch-on events. You can travel for free when you board within the borough on 19 November, 26 November, 3 December and 10 December on the following services: Thames Valley Buses routes 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 53, 127, 234/235 and 238/239, and White Bus route 01.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader and cabinet member for growth and opportunity, said: “We know that Christmas is a crucial time for our town centres and traders. It remains a challenging time for businesses, and we want to back our local retailers and encourage our residents to discover what our high streets have to offer and support our businesses by shopping local.

“These magical switch-on events will provide a much-needed boost for retailers and shoppers alike during this peak trading period. Please do take advantage of our Resident Discount Parking Scheme in car parks in Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton to help you save on your parking while you’re doing your Christmas shopping.

“We have so many great local businesses, including independent stores, where you can pick up unique gifts for family and friends. So make sure you take the opportunity to enjoy the festive cheer of the magical lights switch-ons and support your local businesses.”

For more information about festive events in the Royal Borough, visit www.windsor.gov.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/christmas.

For bus timetables, visit https://www.thamesvalleybuses.com/services and https://www.whitebus.co.uk/bus-services/.