Get ready for York’s first festive lights switch-on starring Santa and Berwick

Flashback to last year's Bishy Road festive switch on. Photograph: Bishy Road on Facebook
3 Nov 2015 @ 12.01 pm
| Entertainment

Two of the busiest men at this time of year are taking a rare evening off to be part of a festive community party in York.

Both Father Christmas and Berwick Kaler will be guests of honour at the Bishy Road Winter Lights Street Party on Thursday, November 12.

Bishy Road winter lights party

Bishopthorpe Road, York

Thu Nov 12

6pm-9pm Parade of shops closed to traffic

6.30pm-8.30pm Party time

7.15pm (approx) Berwick switches on the lights

Free – £5 to see Santa in his grotto. Tickets must be bought from Frutique in advance

Facebook event

Hosted by Bishopthorpe Road Traders Association, the evening will include music, food, beer and late night shopping.

And halfway through the celebrations, Berwick – who plays the dame for the 37th time in Theatre Royal panto Dick Whittington (And His Meerkat) next month – will flick the light switch.

Last year Bishy Road spent more than £12,000 on new festive lights, paid for through donations by the local community and businesses, and by sponsorship.

“As the community were so generous the cross street lights have now been named ‘the community lights’,” said traders association chair Johnny Hayes.

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Berwick Kaler in full dame mode. Photograph: York Theatre Royal / Kippa Matthews
Berwick Kaler in full dame mode. Photograph: York Theatre Royal / Kippa Matthews

Johnny sent his thanks to York’s mega dame for helping out.

Everyone on Bishy Road is very grateful and overjoyed that Berwick is going to switch on our illuminations.

Everybody loves Berwick, who is in our view the best pantomime dame in the country.

The event will be a street party with music, jugglers, choirs, charity stalls, shopping, lots of street food and by popular demand the return of Bishy Brew Beer made especially for the event.

Santa will also be in his grotto in Fruitique and will be led down the street by 50 children carrying lanterns.

Organisers have suggested not taking cars to the event wherever possible. Although the car park will remain open and there are car parks on nearby Nunnery Lane.

The event comes as Bishy Road is asking for votes to help it to the title of Local Centre of the Year in the Great British High Street Awards. Vote here.