ewport City Centre will start the countdown to Christmas with a spectacular event packed with fun for all the family on Saturday, November 18!
Running from noon until 5.30pm, Countdown to Christmas will feature music, fairground rides, celebrity guests and cartoon characters, culminating in the official switching on of Newport’s extended city centre Christmas lights and a breath-taking fireworks display.
Organised by the Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Newport City Council and Friars Walk, Countdown to Christmas mirrors last year’s hugely-successful Saturday event.
Pop duo Into The Ark, runners-up on the TV talent show The Voice, will be the headline musical act on stage during the day, and a special celebrity guest will be helping the city’s mayor Councillor David Fouweather to push the button to light up the city centre for the festive season.
There will be fairground rides along the riverfront, Commercial Street and High Street. The event will culminate with the Christmas lights switch-on at 5.15pm followed by the fireworks display at 5.30pm.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said she is delighted the city will be celebrating the start of the Christmas festivities in such style.
“The atmosphere in the city should be really festive and no doubt will attract crowds of all ages who will look forward to seeing the live music performances and the many other activities set to take place ending with the Christmas lights switch-on and the firework display.
“We are happy to support this fantastic event and hope as many people as possible will join in the fun.”
Simon Pullen, Managing Director at Friars Walk, said: “We are really pleased to be partnering with Newport Now again in bringing the city this fabulous event. This kickstarts Christmas in the city and really tells people the festive season has begun. There is a great schedule of entertainment and events throughout the day culminating in the lights switch-on and the firework display.
“This year, by popular demand, we are pleased to say we are encouraging all retailers to stay open later in the evening to provide customers with more choice as to when they shop. To coincide with this and to make Christmas more affordable, Friars Walk is pleased to offer free parking between 4pm and 7pm Monday to Friday, from November 20 until December 29 to give customers even more of an incentive to come to Newport.”
Newport Now BID manager Kevin Ward said: “Last year’s Saturday event was so successful, with thousands of people enjoying the day, that we are replicating the model for this year.
“We are sure families from across Newport and beyond will visit the city centre for what promises to be a fantastic event packed with surprises.”
More details about the event – including the special celebrity guest and other musical performers – will be revealed over the next week.
Back in 2013 we flooded the streets with orange balloons. These days our logo is more of a festive red. So expect hundreds of Newport City Radio and Newport Now balloons on the streets from 4:30pm. We'll be giving these away FREE of course. And that's only part of the story. We'll be hosting the main stage near Charles Street from 12-2pm. Expect some amazing live performances from contenders, nominees and winners of the Love Live Music awards, all supported by Kymin Financial services.
Keeping you safe
The event will necessitate some temporary road closures. These will be as follows:
Friday 17th November
- High Street and Griffin Street will be closed to vehicles from 5pm Friday 17th until Saturday 18th at 11:59pm.
Saturday 18th November
- Commercial Street (between Stow Hill and Hill Street), Charles Street (between Talbot Lane and Commercial Street), and Corn Street (between Skinner Street and Commercial Street) will be closed to vehicles from 6am until 9pm.
Please do not park vehicles in these areas during the closure times. If you have deliveries during the closure times, can you please ensure that alternate arrangements are made; or that deliveries are completed prior to the closure starting.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused, but the safety of visitors to the event is paramount.
To view the road closure order, please click here.
Countdown to Christmas is the latest in a series of city centre events organised or funded by Newport Now BID, a private company made up of more than 400 city centre businesses.
The event is being funded by the Newport Now BID, Newport City Council and Friars Walk. The South Wales Argus is Newport Now’s media partner for Countdown to Christmas.