Truro City of Lights 2019

October 10th, 2019

Each year, around 30,000 people gather in Truro for one of the greatest events in the Cornish calendar at Christmas. Now in its 23rd year, the hugely anticipated Truro City of Lights event sees a parade of creativity from members of the local community. The epic lantern parade and lights switch-on celebration is a staple part of the festive season in Truro, and will be celebrated on Wednesday 20th November 2019.


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. 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 festive feeling. As the parade travels down each street, the Christmas lights and decorations are lit up harmoniously, illuminating the city as it goes. This year’s theme is ‘Under the Clock Tower’, so we’re expecting to see some spectacular lanterns!

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. You’re sure to be entertained by the brass bands, pipes & drums and samba dancers, as they make their way through the city.



The City of Lights is free to view, however the whole event costs around £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 as fantastically year after year.



From 3pm, there will be a variety of street traders selling food and drink on Lemon Quay,  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.


horse lantern at Truro City of Lights

Where Will the Procession Take Place?

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!


If you’re looking for luxury family Christmas holidays in Cornwall, The City of Lights is an amazing event that will warm you with its exciting glow and get you into the festive spirit. The City of Lights takes place on Wednesday 20th November 2019, from 7pm.