Exeter gets festive this Christmas

Exeter is set for even more Christmas sparkle this year with the addition of further festive lights around the city centre and a selection of street performers entertaining shoppers and tourists as the city gears up for Christmas.

With funding from the Exeter Business Improvement District, which was formed earlier on this year after a successful ‘yes’ vote, the extra Christmas lights will appear in Exeter Central Train Station, Upper High Street, South Street, Castle Street, Guildhall Shopping Centre Wall, Queen Street and Sidwell Street to bring extra sparkle to Exeter during the busy Christmas season.

The city will also play host to a wide range of street performers in the festive lead-up, supplied by local company Fool’s Paradise based on Gandy Street and funded by the Exeter BID. The street entertainment will begin on 19 November and the performers will appear on late night shopping Thursday’s and on weekend dates before Christmas.

Performers include a beautiful juggling Winter Fairy; stilt walking Bouncing Elves; an amazing mobile piano driven around by madcap nun, Musical Ruth; and a 2-metre tall talking, dancing robot Sparky plus more festive acts to entertain adults and children alike.

The BID, established in March 2015, will see £2.4 million being invested into Exeter over the next five years. The Christmas lights and street performers aim to attract more visitors to the city in what is always the busiest spending time of the year, benefitting businesses in the BID area. Next year, a full scheme will be put in place for the cities Christmas festivities including further Christmas lights around the Business Improvement District area.

Craig Bulley, CEO of Exeter BID Company, said “Christmas is the biggest spending season and we want to put Exeter firmly on the map as the shopping destination of the South West.

“The extra Christmas lights will add extra sparkle to the city centre in addition to the brilliant lights in Princesshay and the High Street. In addition to this we will have some fantastic street performers out and about during busy shopping times to make people smile and really get into the festive spirit!

Exeter’s Christmas lights will be switched on by Michael Caines MBE and Tony Rowe OBE on Thursday 19th November at 6.30pm, marking the first late night shopping evening which will then run every Thursday until 17th December.

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