Christmas in Chichester

Discover the magic of Chichester this Christmas

The festive season is nearly upon us and we have a host of exciting updates for our Christmas programme of activities for you to get involved with.

Look out for our Festivities Brochure which includes this year’s Elf Trail as well as information on all the festive fun you can look forward to enjoying in Chichester this year.

Find more information below on:

Christmas Lights 
Christmas Window Competition 
Festive Elf Trail
‘Green’ Christmas Tree
Late Night Shopping 
Virtual Advent Calendar
Christmas Market
Park & Ride
Countdown to Christmas

Christmas Lights

The illumination of the lighting programme will coincide with the lantern procession at 5.00pm on Saturday 23 November and switch on of the Rotary Christmas Tree at Chichester Cross, which will be accompanied by live music from local musicians and a choir from 5.30pm. Following the success of last year, this will be a ‘soft launch switch on’ so lights will be turned on in phases over a period of time, starting with the side streets in early November and the main streets from the 23 November.

Christmas lights in numbers:

3.4 miles of lights put up each year
10 people to put up and take down the lights over 4 nights
16 streets across the city decorated
900,000 LED lights shining brightly around our city

Christmas Window Display Competition

The BID Team is inviting all city centre businesses to put their best window forward for a special competition this Christmas. We know that many businesses put a lot of time and effort in to their Christmas displays, so to maximise the visibility of the shops, we’re inviting businesses to showcase their windows in a special competition.

Judging is due to take place on Saturday 23 November, where windows will be judged based on presentation and creativity.

The Judging

We are delighted to welcome Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, as this year’s judge for our Christmas Window Display Competition.

The categories are:

  • Judges’ Choice (Hugh Bonneville – awarded to one Independent and one Chain)
  • People’s Choice – voted for by the public via social media (by 13 Dec) Find more details here.
  • Gold – awarded to Independent and Chain categories
  • Silver Gilt – awarded to Independent and Chain categories
  • Silver – awarded to Independent and Chain categories

People’s Choice Award

This is an opportunity for the public to take part and vote for their favourite Christmas Window Display. To cast a vote, we ask for the following:

Take a photo of your favourite festive shop window and post it on a social media platform (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram) using the hashtag #ChiBidXmas by 13 Dec 2019.

The window display with the most votes will be announced as winner of the People’s Choice category.

Festive Elf Trail

Following the success of our Nutcracker-themed Christmas trail last December, we are delighted to announce that this year the city centre will play host to a fantastic new Elf Trail. This family-friendly trail will commence on Saturday 23 November and finish on Wednesday 18 December.

We will be placing 12 elves around the city centre. Visitors simply need to follow the trail and locate all of the elves and their names, in order to enter the competition and have a chance to win one of the fantastic prizes as well as a special bonus prize for cracking the anagram.

12 lucky winners will be drawn from correctly answered entries on 18 December.

Details of the Elf Trail are available here or in our Festivities Brochure, which will be available from most retail outlets within the city centre.

Businesses included in the trail are:

  • Café Paradiso
  • Hamptons
  • GoodNews
  • The Bazaar
  • The Entertainer
  • Whitby’s
  • Present Surprise
  • Whirligig
  • Kids Stuff
  • Drapewise
  • Cathedral Gift Shop
  • Clothkits

‘Green’ Christmas Tree

A Christmas tree made entirely of reused plastic bottles is returning to Chichester this year with a special switch-on launch event happening on Saturday 30 November.

The BID is inviting all residents and visitors to the tree’s illumination by Mia from the West Sussex Waste Partnerships Mia Recycles, outside Jack Wills on North Street from 4:30pm to 5:00pm. Waste Prevention Advisors will be on hand to answer questions and share advice about how you can enjoy a waste-free Christmas.

Created from 600 green bottles, the tree was designed by artist Tracey Graham to highlight plastic recycling in West Sussex.

Recycling fact:

Over 5,000 tonnes of plastic bottles and almost 7,000 tonnes of plastic were recycled in West Sussex in 2018/19.

To find out more click here

Late Night Shopping and Street Entertainment

Back by popular demand, the Live Snow Globe, Lost Elves and Brass Santas will be performing on the High Street in the lead up to Christmas and during the Late Night Shopping Evening on Thursday 19 December.

There will also be street entertainment on the following dates:

Saturday 14 December:

Brass Santas  (North and East Street) 11:00, 12:30 & 14:00

Lost Elves (North and East Street) – 11:00, 12:30 & 14:00

Thursday 19 December:

Live Snow Globe (North and East Street) – 17:00, 18:30 & 19:30

Saturday 21 December:

Brass Santas (North and East Street) – 11:00, 12:30 & 14:00

Live Snow Globe (North and East Street) – 11:00, 12:30 & 14:00

Times are approx. due to weather conditions

Christmas Advent Calendar

We will be running a virtual advent calendar campaign to countdown the first 12 days of December. The campaign launches on the 1 December and features 12 fantastic offers from Levy Payers to the public. Each day we will unveil a specific offer or act of kindness that has been generously put forward by one of our city centre businesses.

We are delighted to confirm we now have 12 offers and kicking off the advent promotion on the first day is an offer from the BID Team with Chichester Gift Cards.

All offers will be promoted on the Chichester BID website and social media channels, which will help raise awareness of your business and services over the festive season.

New Christmas Market

A new Christmas Market will be coming to Chichester this year from Saturday 7 December to Sunday 15 December on North Street and East Street. We are looking forward to welcoming this festive market to the city centre, which we are sure will attract additional footfall and complement the already impressive high street offering as well as the many Christmas activities already planned for the city.

The Market will be open on:

Sun – Weds: 9.00am to 6.00pm

Thurs – Sat: 9.00am to 8.00pm

Park & Ride

The annual Park & Ride service takes place from Saturday 30 November – Tuesday 24 December. You can conveniently park your car at Chichester College to pick up a free bus into the centre of the city and return to your car from several points in the city centre.

This service operates every 15 minutes from the car park at the rear of Chichester College (next to Westgate Leisure Centre) between 8am and 6pm (last bus from the city). The drop-off and pick-up points are the Cattle Market car park, North Street and the Cathedral.

The service will operate on:

Saturday 30 November 8.30am until 6pm
Sunday 1 December 9.30am until 5.30pm
Saturday 7 December 8.30am until 6pm
Sunday 8 December 9.30am until 5.30pm
Saturday 14 December 8.30am until 6pm
Sunday 15 December 9.30am until 5.30pm
Saturday 21 December 8.30am until 6pm
Sunday 22 December 8.30am until 6pm
Monday 23 December 8.30am until 6pm
Tuesday 24 December 8.30am until 6pm

Countdown to Christmas Campaign

A new Countdown to Christmas campaign, which is led by Chichester District Council, invites people to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to highlight everything they love about the Chichester District.

The campaign encourages people to celebrate local shops, cafes and restaurants; attractions and experiences; parks and gardens; and businesses on social media using the hashtag #countdowntochristmaschichester

Those who post between Friday 25 October and Monday 25 November 2019 using the hashtag will be entered into a prize draw to win a very special festive prize!

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