Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival

throughout Oxford
19th November 2017

The newly opened Westgate Oxford will play a key role in Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival this year. Oxford’s newest retail destination will be one of the main locations for the unique Light Festival installations that attract thousands of visitors to the city. 

This year’s city centre Christmas Light Festival takes place between Friday 17th and Sunday 19th November. The free festival, inspired by the theme “The World in Oxford”, hosts a wonderful array of illuminated installations and interactive experiences that will take over the City’s streets and open spaces.

Starting this year, the festivals’ extended footprint links together the festival hubs of the Oxford Castle Quarter, Gloucester Green and Broad Street with the inclusion of city’s newest development, Westgate Oxford, thanks to a new partnership. As well as hosting unique art installations, the brand-new 800,000 sq ft retail and lifestyle destination will form part of the route taken through the city by local schools and community groups with the hugely popular lantern parade.

The Westgate Oxford Alliance (a joint venture between the Crown Estate and Landsec), is delighted to be supporting the Christmas Light Festival for a second year.

Brendan Hattam, General Manager at Westgate Oxford Alliance says:

Oxford is such a magical city at any time of year, but never more so than in the run up to Christmas and we believe celebrating ‘The World in Oxford’ for this year’s Christmas Light Festival is a fitting festive theme. We’re excited to be working with the City Council for our first Christmas open to the public and we are looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors into Westgate Oxford and extending the reach and vision of the festival across the city centre.”

Westgate Oxford will be joined by many of the city’s renowned cultural venues in late night opening and special events. Out on the street, the iconic lantern parade, street performance and spectacle transform the medieval town. Listen out for Oxford Contemporary Music’s open air sound installations, catch Film Oxford’s budding young creative talent in an outdoor video screening, enjoy the Dancin’ Oxford live stage in Gloucester Green and browse Broad Street’s Festive Market running all weekend with local craft and gift stalls alongside delicious seasonal mulled wine and hot German sausage.

The festival is a free event co-produced by Oxford City Council and Ian Nolan Events.

Councillor Dee Sinclair, Board member for Culture and Communities at Oxford City Council says:

“The Christmas Light Festival is a special event bringing together all of our Oxford communities and shows off our historic city’s cultural treasures. The rich diversity of our town is celebrated with a wonderful programme of spectacle, exploration and learning. We are delighted that Westgate Oxford Alliance and Arts Council England see the immense value of the festival and continue giving their support.”

The festival has become an established annual event in Oxford and is receiving funds from Arts Council England through its Grants for the Arts Lottery-funded programme. The Christmas Light Festival is created for Oxford residents and visitors, with many of the city’s cultural organisations presenting events, activities, workshops, exhibitions, displays, talks and tours alongside specially commissioned local and international installations and performances all over the city.

Back to top