THE countdown to Christmas begins next month with an spectacular event packed with fun for all the family – culminating in the switching on of Newport’s Christmas lights.

On Saturday, November 16, the Countdown to Christmas will take over Newport city centre, with live music, fairground rides, celebrity guests and cartoon characters.

The event will run from 2pm until 5.30pm - with the city's festive lights display to be switched on by Mayor Cllr William Routley and a special celebrity guest - yet to be unveiled - at 5.15pm, followed by a spectacular fireworks display.


Last year, saw more than 8,000 people flock to the city centre to see Wales boss and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs do the honours.


There will be fairground rides along the riverfront, Commercial Street and High Street, and Heart radio presenters Jagger and Wood will host the event for a second year running.

The event is organised by Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) - a private company made up of 400 city centre businesses.

“The Christmas lights switch-on event is a chance for everyone to get together to enjoy the entertainment and the spectacular fireworks,” said outgoing Newport City Council leader Debbie Wilcox.

“I know a lot of hard work goes on from all involved in ensuring this family event is a treat for everyone who attends, and we look forward to welcoming many visitors to join in the festive celebrations.”

Friars Walk centre director, Simon Pullen, said: “It’s set to be another exciting day for the city with a bumper programme of entertainment and events planned for the entire community to get involved with to get ready for the festive season.”

Newport Now BID manager Kevin Ward said: “We are sure families from across Newport and beyond will again visit the city centre for what promises to be a fantastic event packed with surprises.”

More details about the event will be revealed over the next few weeks.

The following roads will be closed during the event :

High Street and Griffin Street will be closed to all vehicles from 5pm on Friday, November 15, until 11:59pm on Saturday, November 16.

Commercial Street (between Skinner Street and Charles Street) and Charles Street (between Talbot Lane and Commercial Street) will be closed from 6am to 9m on November 15.