Truro City of Lights 2018

November 12th, 2018

Christmas commences in Cornwall on Wednesday 21st November, when the annual City of Lights festival hits the streets of Truro. The epic lantern parade and lights switch-on celebration is a staple part of the festive season in Truro, having been enjoyed by the community for the past 22 years! Now drawing in an incredible 30,000 people each year, the City of Lights is one of the biggest events on the calendar in Cornwall at Christmas time.



What is the Truro City of Lights?

A Christmas lights switch-on like no other, the City of Lights sees a procession of around 600 intricately-designed lanterns, which have been beautifully created by community groups, local artists and school children. Made using withy and paper, the lanterns are paraded aglow throughout the city; with artists carrying their larger constructs, such as horses, dancers and elephants, while the children carry smaller hand-crafted lanterns. Welcoming in the festive season, as the parade travels down each street, the lights and decorations for the city come to life, lighting up and making the whole city glow with Christmas cheer! Each year, the parade is given a theme of which lanterns and performances are based; the theme for 2018 is ‘Remembrance’.


As well as the lanterns and lights, the parade also includes around 100 street performers, adding some extra vibrancy to the night with their music and dance. You’ll certainly get into the spirit of the parade hearing the pipes, drums and brass band, as well as spotting the samba dancers!


The City of Lights is a free event, although donations are welcomed throughout the evening to help cover the high running costs.


Truro City of Lights

Where is the City of Lights Parade?

The parade travels through many streets in Truro, giving you the chance to spot it as it goes past from many areas. Setting off from the Richard Lander Monument at around 7pm, the parade is set to travel through Lemon Street and onto Boscawen Street, before looping round through River Street, Little Castle Street and Kenwyn Street before heading through Victoria Square to return through Boscawen Street. The parade then goes via Princes Street and Green Street to reach Lemon Quay, where the festivities continue. While Boscawen Steet can offer you the best views of the procession, as they will parade through twice, it does get very busy and noisy there!


The City of Lights is sure to get you into the festive spirit, so if you’re planning a luxury family Christmas holidays in Cornwall, then be sure to check it out! Truro City of Lights will be held on Wednesday 21st November 2018, from 7pm to 9pm. There are also plenty of other Christmas events in Cornwall this year, including Christmas markets near Truro.

New Date for Truro City of Lights

January 10th, 2018

Each year, around 30,000 people gather in Truro for one of the greatest events in the Cornish calendar at Christmas, seeing a parade of creativity from members of the local community. Unfortunately, the event planned for 2017 could not go ahead due to bad weather. As the event involves a parade of paper lanterns, the thunderstorms that were hitting the area throughout November understandably led to the event being postponed. Fortunately, the people of Truro just cannot go without their annual City of Lights parade, so the event has been rescheduled to take place on the 31st of January, to put a bit of light back into your winter!


What is happening at the event?

The star of the show is the lantern procession, featuring around 600 lanterns designed and created by local artists, community groups and school children. Simple materials, primarily withy and paper, are used by the artists to make up enormous glowing figures that are carried throughout the city. Children and volunteers carry smaller handmade lanterns to welcome in the lights. As the parade travels down each street, lights and decorations are lit up harmoniously, lighting up the city as it goes. This year’s theme is ‘glow’, so we’re expecting the City of Lights to be brighter than ever.

While the lanterns take centre stage, there is more to the night than that. Also welcoming in the lights are around 100 street performers, further illuminating the city with the vibrancy of their music and dance. With performances from the Truro Irish Dancers, School of Samba and Kernow Pipes & Drums, among others, you’re sure to be entertained.


Price and Fundraising Event

The City of Lights is free to view, however, the whole event costs £50,000 to put on every year, so raffle draws and other fundraising options will be in operation throughout the night to ensure the event can run just as fantastically year after year. As the event was postponed, there were additional costs incurred, meaning that even more money is needed to be raised to enable the event to go ahead. As such, a fundraising evening has been organised for the 17th January at 7pm, starting on Lemon Quay. Also on offer is a VIP package at £25 per person, which provides you with a prime view of the parade and a complimentary glass of champagne and nibbles to accompany you. These tickets are limited so booking is essential.



From 3pm, there will be a variety of street traders selling food and drink on Lemon Quay, Boscawen Street and King Street, so if you are feeling peckish while waiting for the parade, there are plenty of tasty options. If you are planning on eating dinner out in the area on the night, remember to book a table in advance, as things will be getting busy.


Where will the procession take place?

The procession kicks-off at Truro High School for Girls, where all of the school and community groups will begin their journey. At Lemon Street, the giant lanterns will join the fun, and the parade will start to make its way through the city centre. The large lanterns will travel down Boscawen Street twice, after a loop around via Little Castle Street, before parading up Princes Street and ending at Lemon Quay. The lights switch on will be taking place in Boscawen Street, where you should also head if you want one of the best views of the procession. Although a word of warning; it can get very busy there!


If you’re looking for family friendly holidays in Falmouth or Truro, The City of Lights is an amazing event that will warm away the winter blues with its exciting glow. The City of Lights takes place on Wednesday 31st January 2018, between 18:30-20:00.