Sheffield Christmas lights switch-on event 'not possible' and replaced with festive weekend this year instead

There will not be an offical lights switch-on event in Sheffield city centre this Christmas
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The usual Christmas lights switch-on event in Sheffield City Centre will not be taking place as usual this year due to safety concerns.

The works taking place at the top of Fargate mean the entry and exit routes to and from Barker's Pool are compromised, leading to crowd safety concerns if the event went ahead.

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The predicted attendance of around 35-40,000 people at the event meant that the alternative locations of The Peace Gardens, Barkers Poo'l and Tudor Square would not have the capacity.

The Christmas light switch-on event gathers up to 40,000 visitors.The Christmas light switch-on event gathers up to 40,000 visitors.
The Christmas light switch-on event gathers up to 40,000 visitors.

A statement from Sheffield City Council reads: "It will not be possible to safely host a Christmas lights switch-on event, therefore, to make sure people can celebrate Christmas in style, the council will be hosting a whole weekend of festivities, with lights put up across the city centre and plenty of Christmas-themed activities taking place across the city for all to enjoy."

'Sheffield’s Festive Weekend' will be held on November 18 and 19, the first weekend of the Christmas markets, including brass bands, choirs, street dance artists, and an outdoor cinema.

The lights will be put up and switched on across the city centre over the course of the weekend.

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Councillor Minesh Parekh, Deputy Chair of Sheffield City Council’s Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee said: "Big changes to Sheffield’s city centre—including transforming Fargate and Pinstone street—have led us to explore new opportunities to ensure our Christmas celebrations will be better than ever.

"We’re excited to showcase our changing city centre throughout the Christmas period, and to be hosting this new, whole-weekend event."

The Christmas Market will be in operation from November 16 until Christmas Eve from 10am until 8pm daily, with the bars running until January 2nd.

The Fargate works will see new seating, lighting and green planting.