This year, Derby’s Christmas lights will take you on a journey to the future. From the Cathedral, follow the trail to our giant 4m Christmas ‘presents’ in the Market Place with a light and sound show and then up to our new 7.5m tall futuristic tree with its light show at the Spot.

The festivities will start from 3.30pm on Saturday 16th November for the Christmas Lights Switch-On sponsored by Smooth Radio. The event includes a festive parade from The Spot to the Market Place where a stage show packed with entertainment leads up to the big switch-on of our huge real Christmas tree around 6.00pm.

Then on Friday 29th November, in a European first, our fantastic Christmas installation will be switched on. Four giant presents will be installed near the tree in the Market Place. They’ll perform a synchronised light and music show every 30 minutes and you’ll be able to get up close and even walk through the presents as they ‘perform’. Our new futuristic tree will also be switched on lighting up the Spot each day and evening throughout the festive season.

The presents have been developed by Blachere Illuminations, one of the biggest illuminations companies in the world, with installations in over 150 countries, including Harrods and the Champs Élysées, as well as creating the stunning Norwich ‘Tunnel of Light’.

We’re also running our fabulous Window Wonderland competition. Shops and businesses will be decorating their windows in the theme of Christmas Past, Present or Future.

Derby’s pantomime this year is Peter Pan and will run from 7th December to 4th January 2020 at Derby Arena and there’s also a great programme of family festivities at Markeaton Park.

A spokesperson for Derby City Council said:

“I’m really excited to see the giant Christmas presents in place. They look like great fun and we believe it’s the first time they have been seen like this anywhere in Europe.

“I’m also delighted we are using the new tree at the Spot. It certainly makes sense for us to spread the Christmas cheer a bit more widely across the City centre.

“We took a decision not to renew the ice rink contract because we wanted to do something new. We weighed up our options and so this year we’ve decided to invest in these stand out decorations, which we can use across the city for many years, and in improving our infrastructure.

“The plan is to build for the future and we’re already working on ideas for 2020 and beyond and will be working with partners and residents in the new year!”