Wolverhampton is gearing up for the festive season and there will be fun for all the family at a series of events across the city, starting with the city centre switch on in Queen Square on Saturday (18 November, 2023).

A full afternoon of entertainment begins at 3pm with a funfair, real reindeer, face painting, food and drink and much more. Kids favourite Bluey will entertain the crowds with The Voice Star Lia White taking to the stage to warm up the audience before R&B boyband Damage perform a set of their hits such as Love to Love, Forever and Ghetto Romance.

They will then be joined by the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, alongside stars of this year’s Grand Theatre pantomime Snow White, Ian Adams and Tam Ryan, and Father Christmas to switch on the lights at 6pm.

The city centre fun is not the only festive celebration in Wolverhampton, as Christmas lights will also be switched on at Wednesfield, Tettenhall, Bilston and Bantock House with Father Christmas and the Mayor of Wolverhampton doing the honours, plus entertainment from local artists and Wolverhampton’s very own Dicky Dodd. 

The full programme is as follows: 

  • Wolverhampton city centre, Queen Square, Saturday (18 November), 3pm to 7pm, lights switch on 6pm
  • Wednesfield, High Street, Thursday 23 November, 4.30pm to 7pm, lights switch on 6.30pm
  • Bilston, Church Street, Friday 24 November, 4.30pm to 7pm, lights switch on 6.30pm
  • Tettenhall, Upper Green, Saturday 25 November, 4.30pm to 7pm, lights switch on 6.30pm
  • Bantock House, Finchfield Road, Sunday 26 November, 4.30pm to 7pm, lights switch on 6.30pm.

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Visitor City, said: “The Christmas light switch ons are always a favourite with our residents, as it signals the start of the festive period for a lot of families.

“These free events are the perfect way to kick start the Christmas season, so I’d encourage everyone to come along and get into the festive spirit!”

The Enjoy Wolverhampton BID team also have a range of activities happening throughout the Christmas period. Young explorers can take part in the free Gingerbread Christmas Trail from Saturday until 7 January, 2024 - using a smartphone, they will be able to uncover the Gingerbread statues by scanning the QR codes placed on each one. It’s free to register at Ginger Bread Christmas Trail and people locating all the statues can be in with the chance to win some great prizes.

Santa’s Grotto returns to the Mander Centre from Saturday 2 December to Saturday 23 December, in the Lower Mall. For just £5 per child per visit, youngsters can meet the jolly man himself and receive a charming age appropriate gift to take home and put under the tree.

More information about the above activities, including details of late night shopping and parking in the city centre, can be found at enjoy Wolverhampton.  

The Wolverhampton Christmas Market will be in Dudley Street from Saturday 16 December to Friday 22 December. There will be an array of products on offer from local and international vendors, including unique artisan creations, one of a kind handmade treasures, novelty items, affordable stocking fillers, toys and much more. More information can be found at Facebook

And, in a first for the City of Wolverhampton, West Park is set to be transformed with a festive Luminate light trail from Friday 1 December to Sunday 24 December. The magical light trail will take visitors on a mile long walk accompanied by a musical soundtrack for a completely immersive experience. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Luminate Wolverhampton.