George Square Christmas lights day confirmed: Everything you need to know about the Glasgow celebration this year

Glasgow Loves Christmas have confirmed the George Square Christmas lights switch-on
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Glasgow will host a Christmas lights switch-on display to mark the start of the city’s 2023 festive celebrations. Glasgow Loves Christmas is bringing the free event back to George Square on Sunday November 19 (4.30-7.00pm).

A ticket ballot for the 2023 Christmas lights switch-on will open on the Glasgow Life website from Wednesday October 18 until Sunday October 22 – all of the details, including how to enter, will be published on the Glasgow Loves Christmas Facebook, Instagram and X social media channels.

This year’s event, hosted by Clyde 1 presenters George Bowie and Cassi Gillespie, will be packed full of festive fun, including live music, sing-alongs, a choir, and appearances by some of the cast of Pavilion Theatre pantomime Treasure Island.

As the event which kicks off the countdown to Christmas in Glasgow, a series of traditional festivities will follow. Among the family favourites are the Blessing of the Crib in George Square, the Style Mile Christmas Carnival and Baby’s First Christmas.

There is plenty to do throughout Glasgow in the lead-up to Christmas. The Simply Christmas show at the SEC (26-29 October) and House for an Art Lover’s Christmas Fayre ( November 26) present perfect opportunities to pick up handmade gifts, while shows like The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert at the SEC Armadillo (November 26), Pavilion Theatre panto Treasure Island (November 30 - January 14) and Scottish Ballet’s run of Cinders! at the Theatre Royal (December 9 - December 31) also promise fantastic entertainment.

The much-loved Glasgow Santa Dash takes place on Sunday December 10 (10.00am), giving participants a chance to raise funds for the Beatson Cancer Charity and the Lord Provost’s Charity Fund.

Crowds and Performers gather for the Glasgow Christmas Lights switch on at George Square, on November 20, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland.Crowds and Performers gather for the Glasgow Christmas Lights switch on at George Square, on November 20, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Crowds and Performers gather for the Glasgow Christmas Lights switch on at George Square, on November 20, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Anyone who would like to raise money for the Beatson Cancer Charity can do so at www.justgiving.com/campaign/glasgowsantadash23. Donations can be made to the Lord Provost’s Charity Fund to help children and vulnerable people across Glasgow via www.justgiving.com/lordprovostfund-forvc.

As the big day draws nearer, Glasgow Life’s community tour will bring Raymond the Reindeer’s Rocking Christmas Dance Party to venues across Glasgow from December 1 - 16.

Southside arts facility Tramway, run by Glasgow Life, will present Ginger, an interactive Christmas show full of puppetry and play suitable for ages three to seven, from 6-16 December.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will also help to get everyone into the festive spirit, with performances of Swing Into Christmas on November 14, Christmas at the Musicals on December 10 and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Christmas Concert featuring The Snowman (December 23).

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Jacqueline McLaren, said: “The switching on of Glasgow’s Christmas lights is always a special occasion. It’s one of the highlights of the year seeing families and friends gather to celebrate the start of the festive season in the heart of our city.”