Christmas Light Switch On – 14th November 2019 – Notice to Residents/Visitors

On Thursday 14th November 2019 an event will be held to celebrate the official launch of the York Christmas Festival and the switch on of the winter lights across the city.  

The light switch on event will officially start from 6PM at Duncombe Place with music and entertainment for an hour with the lights being turned on at 7PM. This will include light projections onto the West Front of York Minster and St Michaels Le Belfry.

The light switch on has been moved from St Helen’s Square due to safety advice, with York Minster also keen to get involved with a community event that is successful in bringing local families to the city centre. 

Full information on timings for the event is listed below – including any road closures and event safety measures which will be in place on the day.  


12.00-15.00: Parking restrictions around Duncombe Place to allow for installation of event safety measures

15.00-17.00: Road closures to take place on Duncombe Place, High Petergate entrance (junction with Gillygate/Bootham) and outside the Guy Fawkes Inn next to St Michaels Le Belfry – with access for residents

17.00: Roads closed from High Petergate entrance, Duncombe Place and High Petergate – with no access

18.00: Event starts with background music and welcome from Ben Fry at Minster FM – with music acts and entertainment on stage for 50 mins

19.00: Lights switched on

19:15: Event ends – crowds disperse and stage derigged

20.00: Cleaning of area by City of York Council

21.00: Roads are re-opened to traffic

Event safety measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of the crowds attending the switch on and our local residents. Eboracum BID rangers and St Johns Ambulance will also be on site from 16.00 on the day of the event.

Whilst we understand that this may cause some disruption to local residents, the event is an important occasion to launch the York Christmas Festival, taking place on one day only – and we will be working hard to ensure we minimise any inconvenience wherever possible.

We also wish to take this opportunity to give you advance notice that a similar road closure is likely to be put in place on 31st December from 6pm due to the large number of people who gather at the Minster around midnight.

We thank you in advance for your understanding.  The winter light switch on is a key event in the city’s festival programme – and we hope that you will be able to join us on the day to enjoy the event.

If you would like any further information on any of the above please contact us on / 01904 554455