Our Colchester

Our Colchester BID launches Christmas in Colchester for 2022

Christmas is back bigger and better than ever. Following two years of absence for the Town Centre light switch-on in Colchester, to mark the first year of Colchester being a city this years’ celebration will bring Colchester alive with lights and music. Celebrating the Colchester community like never before.

Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to present Christmas in Colchester 2022, kicking off Christmas in the City with a light switch on extravaganza. Rather than a static light switch on event on the high street as seen in 2019, missed in the previous two years, this year’s community event will see a spectacular festive light parade through the city centre working with world renowned Emergency Exit Arts to bring something never seen before on our High Street.

Schools are invited to take part with the creation of magical lanterns which will be featured in the parade alongside large light floats, professional entertainment, and community groups. Follow the parade through the city centre and watch as the magic of Christmas in Colchester, and the community spirit illuminates the Christmas lights along the route.

The switch on parade is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 16th of November from 4pm and is a free to attend event. The parade will form up at The Mercury Theatre and on North Hill before proceeding down the High St past Fenwick, The Town Hall and The George Hotel, bringing the street to light as it passes through. The parade ends at approx. 6pm at Firstsite after passing Castle Park and the war memorial.  A road closure will be in place for the duration of the procession.

This will also be the launch event for all Christmas in Colchester events, including the Late Wednesday’s programme, interactive windows, VR magical sleigh rides, the Foodbank Giving Tree campaign and so much more. Additional entertainment will be provided by Culver Square with Christmas stalls and the opening of the VR Magical Sleigh Ride during throughout the evening of the light parade.

Firstsite will be open throughout the parade and late into the evening, providing activities, entertainment, and films for all the family to enjoy. Firstsite will also be holding a series of special late-night openings over the festive period for people to view exhibitions, enjoy a drink or snack from their bar, and experience live entertainment after dark in their stunning building.

Lion Walk Shopping Centre will also be hosting their festive celebrations on Wednesday 16th November following their successful light switch on event last year. Expect a stage packed with great acts, entertainment, and festive spirit. The Lion Walk Shopping Centre light switch on will take place at 7.30pm, lighting up the shopping precinct and is a free to attend event for the whole family.

Our Colchester BID have also secured external funding for spectacular light projections on key landmarks in the city centre. Keep your eyes peeled after the Christmas launch event for buildings coming alive with bespoke projections and light shows that tell magical stories.


The Lost Elves, from the 2021 Late Wednesdays

The Grinch from 2021 Christmas Late Wednesdays Programme

BID Manager Sam Good says “My team and I are thrilled to be hosting the biggest Christmas in Colchester event to date, which is only fitting in our first year of being a city. It’s a very exciting time of year for Colchester with so much going on the light parade, which will switch on the Christmas lights city wide, is such a unique feature of this year and I’m sure it’ll be a magical event to remember.

We’re working hard to make it as accessible as possible for everyone. With the cost-of-living crisis hanging over everyone’s head this winter, we hope that this free event celebrating Christmas and the Colchester community will bring the city together for a spectacular evening of entertainment, light, and joy.”

Find out more about Christmas in Colchester 2022