Plymouth’s Winter Festival is returning for 2012, and it’s set to be bigger and better than ever with the events taking place across the city centre and waterfront.
Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership are teaming up to provide a fantastic line up of festive fun for all the family in the lead up to Christmas.
The Winter Festival will officially launch on Thursday 22 November, with the Christmas Lights Switch On transforming Plymouth into a twinkling festive haven and beginning the city’s countdown to Christmas.
Now in its third year, the Winter Festival, aims to attract shoppers from across the South West to enjoy Plymouth’s unique retail offer, as well as its exciting programme of entertainment and events.
This year Santa will have a new home in Plymouth, at his cosy Christmas Grotto on Frankfort Gate. The Grotto will open on Thursday 22 November to coincide with the Christmas Lights Switch On, and will remain open every day until Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Lights Switch On will also mark the opening of the Christmas Market stalls on Armada Way and Cornwall Street and the redressing of the outdoor ice rink on the Piazza as a Christmas Winter Wonderland. Shops in the city centre will be staying open until 8pm for late night shopping, as they will every Thursday throughout the rest of November and December.
Brand new for 2012, there will also be a special Saturday Christmas Farmers’ Market taking place on the waterfront, based at the West Pier. Local traders will be selling a wide range of goods including fresh bread, eggs, poultry, venison, handmade cakes and preserves – highlighting the South West’s excellent local produce.
The market begins on Saturday 24 November will open every Saturday in the five weeks before Christmas, from 11am – 6pm, with pop up performances each week.
Plymouth Barbican traders will be holding a one-off late night shopping evening on Wednesday 12 December, with many of the independent shops and galleries staying open until 8pm and offering shoppers mulled wine and other festive treats.
There will also be an ‘Odd Window Out’ trail for families to follow along the waterfront and a photo exhibition of ‘Christmases Past on the Barbican’ run by South West Image Bank at the Tourist Information Centre.
Sarah O’Leary, Plymouth Waterfront Manager said: “Everyone on the waterfront is really looking forward to the dining and shopping Christmas season and joining in with the festive fun. Last year’s late night shopping evening on the Barbican proved to be very popular, it’s a great evening within the relaxed, atmospheric setting of the historic quayside with opportunities to dine by the waterside too. We’re introducing the Saturday farmers’ markets this year giving people added reason to buy local this Christmas and the many destinations within the waterfront offer a broad range for all the family.”
The countdown to Christmas will continue throughout December, with the Twinkling Twilight Lantern Parade on Thursday 6 December, which will see 300 local school children parading their handmade lanterns through the city streets. There will also be a charity Santa Fun Run (9 December), breakfast with Santa at the ice rink (24 December), Dick Whittington in Panto at the Theatre Royal (14 December – 19 January), Cinderella on Ice at Plymouth Pavilions (26 December – 5 January) and a whole host of other festive shows across the city.
To help shoppers get more for their money, Plymouth City Centre Company is teaming up with CityBus, Radio Plymouth and the Plymouth Herald to introduce the ShopPlymouth Saver Card – a great way for shoppers to access exclusive discounts and offers across the city, helping you make your money go further this Christmas. You can sign up for the card for free at www.ShopPlymouth.co.uk.
Clint Jones, Plymouth City Centre Manager said: “The Winter Festival is definitely going to be bigger and better than ever this year – we’re bringing back all the events which have been popular in the past along with some exciting new festive treats. With the launch of the ShopPlymouth Saver Card this month there’s never been a better time to bag a bargain, so come and make the most of all the deals on offer while enjoying the great entertainment and events in the lead up to Christmas.”
For information on all the events and activities that form this year’s Winter Festival please visit www.visitplymouth.co.uk and www.shopplymouth.co.uk. You can also keep up with all the latest updates by becoming a fan of What’s On Plymouth on Facebook and following @Shop_Plymouth and @VisitPlymouth on Twitter.
>strong>Upcoming Winter Festival Events:
Winter Festival Launch
Christmas Lights Switch On, with entertainment from 4pm including Christopher Biggins, ‘Gaga Unleashed’, the Military Wives Choir and Joker
Christmas Market opening on Armada Way and Cornwall Street
Santa’s Grotto opening on Frankfort Gate
Plymouth Outdoor Ice Rink transformation into Winter Wonderland and evening skating show
Thanksgiving celebration at 11am outside the Guildhall
Late night shopping in the city centre – continues every Thursday
Saturday Christmas Market at West Pier – continues every Saturday
‘Odd Window Out’ trail begins on the waterfront
Barbican Christmases Past photo exhibition begins
Good Food Market at Royal William Yard, 11am – 3pm
Twinkling Twilight Lantern Parade, starting at 6pm leaving from the City Market Car Park on Cornwall Street
Meet Santa’s reindeer from 3pm – 5pm at their Frankfort Gate paddock
The Greatest Story Never Told begins at the Barbican Theatre
Santa fun run
Late night shopping on the Plymouth Barbican
Dick Whittington begins at the Theatre Royal
Breakfast with Santa at the outdoor ice rink
Cinderella on Ice begins at Plymouth Pavilions
STOP PRESS: In addition to the list above on Tuesday 18th December the Coca Cola Truck will be rolling up to the Plymouth Hoe! 🙂