Coming into Ely for the Christmas lights switch on? Here’s the timetable of what to expect on Friday so come and enjoy the festive fun

Map offers information on which roads will be impassable on Friday November 30 during the switch-on

Map offers information on which roads will be impassable on Friday November 30 during the switch-on celebrations for this year's Ely Christmas Lights. Picture: LIGHTS COMMITTEE - Credit: Archant

On Friday evening Ely will reverberate to the sounds of the festive spirit as up to 4,000 people are expected at the traditional Christmas Lights Switch on.

The event will be held in the city centre on market place, Fore Hill, Market Street and part of Brays Lane for this most family friendly of occasions.

It has been a feature of Ely for 13 years and this year’s lights switch on promises to be as good as it gets.

Ian Newstead, whose family has helped organise the event for many years, said its success is based on putting on entertainment that everyone of all ages can enjoy.

Comprised of a team of volunteers the Christmas Switch on Group many months of pre--planning go into getting the city ready for the big switch-on.

Here’s a list of everything you need to know about the lights switch-on arrangements:


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5.30am to 10.30pm – High Street, Fore Hill, Market Place, Brays lane (part) closed to traffic.

3pm - Onwards BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Live from Ely Market Place.

3pm to 8.30pm – Fair Rides Open.

3pm - Food Vendors Open

3.30pm to 8.30pm – Event Stalls Open.

5pm - Fore Hill Santa’s Grotto opens.

4.17pm – Father Christmas and KD’s Jack & The Beanstalk Travels through Ely on horse drawn carriage from Barton Road Car Park.

4.23pm – BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Opens City of Ely Council’s Ely Christmas Light Switch On Event.

4.30pm to 7.55pm - Live acts on stage!

6.45pm - Christmas Lights Get Turned On.


3.52pm – Event Open “Christmas overture”

4.08pm – Switch On “Black Eyed Peas” CD mentioning sponsors.

4.12pm – “Miracle”

4.17pm – Father Christmas arrives and on stage with KD Productions – Jack and the Beanstalk Cast arrives.

4.23pm – BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Live.

4.27pm – Father Christmas on Stage with KD Productions – Jack and the Beanstalk.

4.35pm – Frozen LIVE.

4.50pm – City of Ely Mayor.

4.55pm – Octagon Dance Studio.

5.20pm – Nikki Dine-Hart.

5.50pm – BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Fun and Games.

5.55pm – Gary Goodmaze – Freddie Mercury Tribute.

6.26pm – KD Productions – Ely Panto – Jack & the Beanstalk


6.45pm – “The Big Switch On”

6.48pm – BBC Radio Cam Introduces Simply Jackson.

6.49pm – Simply Jackson - Live on Stage.

7.35pm – Anneli.

7.55pm – Stage Acts Finish BBC Radio Cam GOODBYE For 2018.

8.30pm – Event Closes.

Switch On Sponsors 2018


Grey’s Of Ely

DT Warehousing

G’s Fresh

Gill Insulation Ltd

Waitrose Ely

SnailRiver Carriage Company

Ely Skip Hire

Lakenheath Fireworks


SkyLark Garden Centre

Ellgia Recycling

Practical Car and Van Hire

Prezzo Ely

Ely Hereward Rotary Club


Ely Standard

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire