Christmas street market for Newport lights switch-on

For the first time in two years, Newport will be lit up for the festive season with a Christmas lights switch-on and market this year.

Newport Christmas Light Switch on 2021. In Picture L>R: Andrew Griffin (Vice Chair of Carnival Committee), Newport Mayor Lyn Fowler, Paul Syrda (Chair of Carnival Committee) and Sarah Syrda (Stalls Coordinator Carnival Committee)
Newport Christmas Light Switch on 2021. In Picture L>R: Andrew Griffin (Vice Chair of Carnival Committee), Newport Mayor Lyn Fowler, Paul Syrda (Chair of Carnival Committee) and Sarah Syrda (Stalls Coordinator Carnival Committee)

Newport is set to enjoy its first festive Christmas street market this year, alongside the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch On event.

Last year's events were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic but this year Newport Town Council and the Newport Carnival Committee have organised a grand event for the town.

On Friday, November 26, the lights will be switched on by Aston Smith from Newport Junior School who was the overall winner of the Council’s Christmas Card competition.

Instead of the Buttercross, this year, the stage will be located at The Square with Nova FM entertaining the crowd from 5pm.

Councillor Fowler, the mayor of Newport said: "We are hoping a very special guest may be able to join us in the Guildhall this year and present the three competition winners with their prizes.

"This time of year is a favourite with the council as turning the Christmas lights on brings light into all our lives, at what can be a miserable time of the year, weather wise."

Meanwhile, a festive street market of up to 70 stalls of food, drink, crafts and gifts will line St Mary’s Street from 4pm to 9pm on Friday, organised by Newport Carnival Committee.

From handmade gifts and Christmas crafts to wood-fired pizza, brownies, hand-poured candles and mulled wine, the market brings a host of festive fun and shopping for the whole family against the backdrop of the beautiful town centre Christmas lights switch on.

Newport Christmas Light Switch on 2021. In Picture L>R: Newport Mayor Lyn Fowler outside the Guildhall

There will also be street entertainment, including stilt-walking elves, light and fire performers, plus a winter wonderland grotto with dazzling light displays as a backdrop for festive family photographs.

Newport Carnival Committee chairman Paul Syrda said it was the first outdoor Christmas street market anyone can remember taking place in the town.

“For the first time this Christmas, we’re bringing an exciting new street market to run alongside Newport’s annual lights switch on event,” he said.

“We have some fabulous stalls offering a wonderful array of gifts for the whole family, along with delicious food stalls and the all-important festive cups of mulled wine.

“Opening at 4pm and running until 9pm along the whole length of St Mary’s Street from the Square, we can’t wait to see everyone there.”

The event was arranged in just a few weeks to coincide with the hugely popular lights switch on, after committee members met initially to discuss plans ahead of 2022’s main carnival event.

“As we were talking about our plans for the return of Newport Carnival next year, the idea came up to do something on a smaller but still fun-filled scale this year," Paul added.

“A Christmas street market was the perfect choice and we hope to bring it back every year going forwards.

“Thank you to the town council, which very kindly invited us to hold the market alongside its hugely popular Christmas lights switch on, and to our amazing committee of volunteers, who worked so hard on a very short timescale to bring the festive market to life.”

A parade will go down the High Street, and the council have borrowed Santa’s sleigh by kind permission of the Newport Rotary Club.

Following the switch on, residents are encouraged to attend carol singing at St. Nicholas Church at 6.30pm.

There also will be Civic and Community Carol Service on Sunday, November 28 at 6.30pm.

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