Live Christmas Lights Switch on returns to Darlington

First published: Monday 15 Nov 2021

Darlington’s Christmas lights switch on returns to town as a live event for the first time in two years on Sunday November 21 from 4pm. Panto star Patrick Monahan will flick the switch with help from Santa and real cheers from the crowds that are set to gather in the market square.

Live music, street theatre, competitions and general good fun will lead up to the big switch on followed by a burst of fireworks to end the night with a bang.

Our lighting teams have now installed lights at eighty different sites across the town centre and will be putting the finishing touches to the tree lights over the coming days just in time for the big switch on. 

Last year’s event was held virtually due to the pandemic. Thousands of people joined in the online streaming with local choirs as the big switch on lit the town centre up.

This year’s live event will mark the start of a full programme of festive fun for Darlington. The popular Ice Sculpture Trail returns over two weekends on Saturday 4 and 11 December with wonderful ice creations including icy selfie opportunities, live ice sculpting in the market square, plus street theatre and live music around the town.

More icy fun follows with the free ice rink every day in the market square from Saturday 18 December until Christmas Eve. A Victorian carousel and gift marquee will complete the festive fun.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for Economy said:

“We’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure Darlington is the place to come to for free, festive family fun. I’m delighted that we can host the live lights switch on and look forward to the streets of our wonderful town centre lighting up once again.”

More details of Christmas events can be found at or on the #LoveDarlo Facebook page.

Patrick Monahan will play the character of Buttons in Cinderella with Steps and Strictly star Faye Tozer as live panto returns to Darlington Hippodrome from 10 - 31 December. Tickets are on sale at:

Visitors can take advantage of two hours free parking in council-run town centre car parks and on street parking bays. All day parking is available on Sundays in selected car parks from £1. Motorists are advised to read local signage and to display a ticket from the machine. More details at:

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