York’s Christmas season kicks off tonight (Friday, 8 November) as stars of stage and screen switch on the Coppergate Centre’s new lights.

Taking to the Coppergate stage will be a host of well-known names, including Vicki Michelle – best known for her roles in ’Allo ’Allo and Emmerdale.

She will be joined by fellow cast members from the Grand Opera House panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Australian comedian and actor Mark Little, comedian and magician Martin Daniels, York’s town crier Ben Fry and York newcomer Louise Henry, who plays Snow White.

Coppergate Centre’s Christmas Lights Switch On 2019

Fri Nov 8 @ 5.30 pm - 7.00 pm
Coppergate Shopping Centre
12 Coppergate Walk
York, YO1 9NT United Kingdom
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BBC Radio York’s Anna Wallace and Joanita Musisi will be on hand to press the ‘on’ button, and compère for the evening will be York’s own West End star, Ian Stroughair – perhaps best known for his drag alter ego, Velma Celli.

Fun, music – and shopping!

The cast of Snow White, coming soon to the Grand Opera House
Coppergate is all geared up for shoppers, with most of its stores open till 7pm or later, and many food and drink options too.

Centre manager Pippa Unwin said:

  • Traditionally, the Coppergate Centre’s lights have been the first to be switched on in the city, and they add a welcome touch of sparkle to an otherwise dark time of year.

    We’re thrilled to have such a great line-up for this year’s event – it should be a superb evening of fun, music, laughter and – of course – shopping.

Opening and closing the evening will be York band, Everything After Midnight.

And there’s a chance to win all kinds of prizes supplied by stores and attractions around Coppergate, plus tickets to see Snow White at the Grand Opera House.

Calling all buskers

York band Everything After Midnight will perform at the switch-on. Photograph: Isobel Drake
The Coppergate Centre team is also appealing for busking groups who might be interested in performing for shoppers in the run-up to Christmas on Friday evenings and Saturdays.

“Choirs and bands always get a fantastic welcome from our shoppers, and really help creative a festive ambience,” said Pippa.

“We’ve got a number of slots for busking available, and would encourage anyone interested in coming along to reserve their free pitch now.”

You can do that by emailing coppergate@pyperyork.co.uk.