Our Christmas lights across Chelsea are now sparkling, following a magical switch-on event on Saturday 20 November. The King’s Road was partially pedestrianised for the first time, to allow an afternoon of family entertainment including reindeer, a festive food market and dancers, singers and performers both on stage and roaming across the neighbourhood.
Father Christmas arrived just before 5pm to greet our switch on ‘star’, 9 year old Ali who is a pupil in year 5 at Holy Trinity School and had been praised by his headmistress as ‘an absolute shining star – always working hard, kind to his friends and a real asset to the school’. Father Christmas and Ali then took to the stage, joining the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, to lead a count down to the big moment – when Ali flicked the switch to set off a musical fireworks display as the lights illuminated.
Steven Medway, CEO of the King’s Road Partnership, commented: “The atmosphere on Saturday was magical and we welcomed record numbers, with a surge in spend and footfall across Chelsea and many shops and restaurants reporting their most successful day to date since pre-pandemic. A section of the King’s Road was pedestrianised for the first time, allowing thousands to safely come together and celebrate –the event attracted significantly higher footfall than 2019 and notably, according to data from Air Quality England, this road closure also saw a 9% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) – a definite case for big community events into the future!”
The event raised profile and funds for The K&C Collective, a group of frontline charities who reach residents in financial hardship or facing a lonely and isolated Christmas.