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Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) have announced their plans for the 2021 festive season, including the return of the popular Christmas Lights Switch On event, a new Gingerbread Trail around the city centre, and a new collaboration with the Cathedral Christmas Market.

Winchester Christmas Lights Switch On, 18 November 2021, 4pm to 7pm
The annual Winchester Christmas Lights Switch On is back! The spectacular event, organised by Winchester BID and kindly sponsored by Dutton Gregory Solicitors, will take place in The Broadway outside Winchester Guildhall. This year Winchester’s Christmas lights will be switched on by local heroes nominated by the public. The event will be hosted by Heart Radio and the night will be full of festive fun, with Santa’s Sleigh and wonderful live performances from Harestock Primary School Choir, The Pilgrims’ School Chamber Choir, Winchester A CapellaIntegr8 DanceTheatre Royal WinchesterSpitfire SistersRock ChoirDuo Guitar and Diva Academy.

Returning for 2021, the Giant Inflatable Snow Globe will be located in The Square on the day of the Switch On from 12 noon to 8pm. Visitors to the Snow Globe are encouraged to make a voluntary donation to Spare Change for Lasting Change, Winchester BID’s charity scheme which aims to help reduce street begging and rough sleeping in the city by supporting two local charities, Trinity Winchester and The Winchester Beacon (Winchester Churches Nightshelter).

The Gingerbread Christmas Trail, 20 November 2021 to 4 January 2022
New for this year, Winchester BID are also organising the Gingerbread Christmas Trail. Find the 10 gingerbread characters in different locations across the city centre and discover 10 letters and numbers. Once you have written them all down, unscramble them all to make a Christmas phrase and enter the free hamper prize draw.* Simply return your completed trail sheet into one of Santa’s post boxes located at the Visitor Information Centre, Winchester Discovery Centre or Winchester City Museum. On any days when these venues are closed you can post your trail sheet through our door at Winchester Business Centre, 10 Parchment Street, Winchester, SO23 8AT.

Click here to download a self-guided trail booklet or collect one from the venues hosting Santa’s post boxes from 22 November. Following the trail will enable participants to see the wonderful festive lights while Christmas shopping and enjoying Winchester’s fantastic shops, eateries, and other businesses along the way.

Independent Businesses Chalet at Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, 19 November to 4 December 2021
Why not visit the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market this festive season, where Winchester BID are hosting a new independent businesses chalet where a selection of local independent businesses will be trading. Make sure you pick up a copy of the new Winchester Independents Festive Map while you are there. Please note that while the Winchester BID independent businesses chalet will be there until 4 December, the market continues until 22 December.

Sarah Davis, Winchester BID Manager, said: “We are delighted to be organising a wide range of fun activities for people to enjoy in Winchester this Christmas. In particular, we are excited to host a Christmas Lights Switch On event again, with local heroes switching on the lights. It will be wonderful to see the community come together to kick start the festive season. A big thank you to the event sponsor Dutton Gregory Solicitors.”

Robert Bolwell, Senior Partner at Dutton Gregory Solicitors, said: “Dutton Gregory is delighted to be returning as sponsor of the Winchester Christmas Lights Switch On for a second year, and to be part of such a fantastic evening which celebrates both community and festive spirit. Next year, we will be celebrating our 75th anniversary supporting people and businesses from the heart of the city, so we are always proud to work with other local businesses and initiatives such as Winchester BID, who are dedicated to making our city a great place to live and work.”

For the latest updates, follow #FestiveWinch and @WinchesterBID on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

To find out more about other activities in the Winchester District this Christmas, please visit the Christmas in Winchester website.

*T&Cs apply – To be entered into the prize draw to win the hamper, your trail sheet must be fully completed and returned to either the Visitor Information Centre, Winchester Discovery Centre or the Winchester City Museum. A winner will be drawn in January 2022 and be contacted accordingly. Please check the latest opening times for the Visitor Information Centre, Winchester Discovery Centre and Winchester City Museum before travelling.

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