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This year’s Winchester Christmas Lights Switch On event took place on Thursday 18 November 2021 in the city centre from 4pm to 7pm, with the lights being switched on by local hero Lily Lomas, who received hundreds of nominations from members of the public.

The spectacular event was organised by Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) and kindly sponsored by Dutton Gregory Solicitors.

In the lead up to the event, Winchester BID launched their ‘search for a local hero’ campaign again this year to find a Winchester star to switch on the Christmas lights. This year Lily Lomas was Winchester’s local hero, who pressed the giant switch-on button that lit up the heritage city.

Lily is aged 10 and she received an overwhelming number of nominations – the highest number received by a local hero in the competition to date! Those nominating Lily praised her continuous efforts not only for her selfless charity work but for her fundraising efforts and bravery during her cancer diagnosis. Lily is an incredible local hero who has used her very little spare time between hospital appointments to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Mrs Sankey, Head Teacher at Lily’s school said: “She is an amazing young lady who has battled cancer so bravely since December last year and raised over £25,000 for charity. As her Head Teacher at Harestock Primary School, I am so proud of her courage and determination. A true inspiration at only 10 years old. Amazing!”

️You can find out more about Lily and her charity work here:

This year’s event was hosted by Heart Radio’s Toby Anstis and Craig Dane and the night was 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 to help kick start the festive season celebrations.

The popular Giant Inflatable Snow Globe was back this year in The Square during the day, which helped to raise £940 in donations for Spare Change for Lasting Change, a scheme aimed at helping to reduce street begging and rough sleeping in the city by supporting Trinity Winchester and The Winchester Beacon.

Sarah Davis, Winchester BID Manager, said: “We are so pleased to have been able to organise this event to welcome in the festive season in Winchester this year. It was wonderful to see the community come together to enjoy the event and see an amazing local hero switch on the Christmas lights. A big thank you to all of the event team, performers, members of the public who supported the event, and to sponsor Dutton Gregory Solicitors.”

Robert Bolwell, Senior Partner at Dutton Gregory Solicitors said: “What can I say? It was tremendous fun! Dutton Gregory was delighted to be involved in supporting such a fantastic event. A big thank you to all involved and who came along for making the evening so wonderful!”

This festive season Winchester BID are also organising the Gingerbread Christmas Trail and the Independent Business Chalet at the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market.

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

Video: Highlights from the Winchester Christmas Lights Switch On 2021.

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