Newquay was full of Christmas cheer last Friday as thousands came to the resort to take part in the Lantern Parade and Christmas lights switch on, to kick start the Festive Festival, spreading even more seasonal cheer than previous years.

The festival was organised by Newquay Town Council, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) and Newquay Lions; with funding from the town council and the BID to celebrate Christmas and bring additional visitors into the town.  

 The festival got off to an enchanting start when Santa and his real-life reindeer flew in to meet Newquay’s children at the Hotel Victoria.  

 Over 100 hand-made lanterns and their creators then made their way from Narrowcliff to Fore Street in a dazzling display of light and colour. The parade was watched by thousands of people who lined the streets and enjoyed sounds of Newquay Town Band. The parade also featured a visit from Frozen snowman, Olaf and everyone’s favourite Pokémon, Pikachu.

Pirate FM hosted the official switch on of the lights, which was accompanied by festive carol signing and blessing of the town Christmas Tree at Marcus Hill.  The parade and spectators then made their way to the Harbour to witness spectacular fireworks, courtesy of Newquay Town Council.

“Fantastic turn out by everyone who took part, helped or just watched, a brilliant community event, making all proud to live in Newquay” Newquay Lions Organiser Andy Cole.

A number of retailers across the town also opened their doors on Friday for late-night shopping, making the most of the additional footfall. Many visitors stayed on after the parade to pick up some extra Christmas gifts, or enjoy food & drink. The town was thriving, with shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes full of festive cheer. Friday also saw the start of the Newquay Music & Ale Festival, which saw festival goers enjoying local produce, ales, ciders and a line-up of awesome live music.  

Gemma Taylor said: “The parade and lights switch on continues to grow in popularity each year, and it is a great to see so many people enjoying the event, creating such a wonderful atmosphere, and bringing a boost to trade across the town. We know this is a really important time of year for local businesses and we are very pleased with the extra footfall the event generated, we have had such positive feedback and look forward to working on next year’s event”

“Newquay BID would like to thank all the organisations that worked together to make this festival such a great success, the event wouldn’t be so popular without the collaboration from Newquay Town Council, Newquay Lions Club, Police Cadets, Pirate FM, and all the schools who took part in the parade, this alongside the support from local businesses and retailers, ensures the event continues to thrive each year”

Newquay BID is now undertaking a post-event survey, to collate feedback from businesses and participants. Click here to take part in the short survey, and share your thoughts on the event. Organisers will then review all feedback when planning for next year.