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Carnaby announces date of Christmas lights switch on

Tom Bottomley
20 October 2022

Tuesday 8 November 2022 will see London’s Carnaby Christmas lights illuminated, and this year will incorporate a medley of the best installations of the past 25 years.

Since 1997, when London landlord Shaftesbury first invested in the area, Carnaby’s inventive lights have covered a variety of themes, including an underwater seascape, colourful rainbows, oversized fairy lights, giant snowmen, 60s inflatables, a kaleidoscope of butterflies and collaborations with two of the world's most famous bands; The Rolling Stones and Queen.

This year, the ‘Carnaby Celebrates’ installation will incorporate 14 different themes, featuring neon lyrics from Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, glittering Rolling Stones tongues, oversized robins, a giant snowman, colourful palm trees from ‘Carnaby Carnival’, as well as underwater scenes from the striking ‘Under The Sea’ themed lights.

The installation from Shaftesbury will illuminate Carnaby Street, Foubert’s Place, Ganton Street and Newburgh Street, and the iconic Carnaby arches will be adorned with silver shimmer discs embellished with carnival decorations, while a dazzling globe will be brought back to celebrate ‘Carnaby Welcomes The World’.

The project is again in collaboration with charity partner Choose Love, to highlight and support the urgent need to raise funds for refugees around the world. Choose Love will have a shop at 15-17 Foubert’s Place selling a collection of limited edition products, along with refugee gifting packages, with a constant stream of celebrity guests popping in to serve customers.

The turning on of the lights will include a celebration that includes over 100 shops, bars and restaurants “coming together for a shopping and dining party”. Between 5pm - 9pm visitors will be able to enjoy live music, in-store activations and 20% discounts. Tickets are free from the Carnaby website.

Shaftesbury Executive Director, Simon Quayle, said: “We are delighted to bring back the best of Carnaby’s Christmas past and to again create an exciting visual display for visitors. Earlier this year we celebrated 25 years since Shaftesbury first invested in Carnaby, and this is a great way to honour that by showing a selection of decorations over the period. Hopefully visitors will spot one of their own favourites from previous years.

“Shaftesbury is proud to be working with Choose Love once again as our charity partner, and we are looking forward to highlighting all the amazing work that they do.”

Read's interview with Shaftesbury Executive Director, Simon Quayle.

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