This year’s Christmas light switch on in Bath will be focussed on Jolly’s, the iconic retail hub of Milsom Street where the annual event takes place.
There are many festive treats in store in Bath starting when the Christmas lights are switched on Wednesday 12th November.
Queen of cakes Mary Berry who grew up in Bath did the honours last year following on the heels of The Duchess of Cornwall; Hollywood Royalty – Nicholas Cage – and John Cleese.
This year the spotlight will be turned on the star of the Bath retail scene, Jolly’s.
This iconic store one of the oldest department stores in Europe has been lovingly restored to its former glory by present owners, House of Fraser.
“It seemed appropriate to celebrate the star of our own high street, Jolly’s is an institution in Bath” said Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of the Bath Business Improvement District which co-ordinates the switch on event with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Jolly’s is located on historic Milsom Street and has always had a special place in the hearts of the people of Bath.
After a multi-million pound restoration and with the addition of a whole host of great new brands “it will be on everyone’s list for shopping this Christmas”, according to Andrew.
He continued: “The switch on marks the start of the busiest time of year for our retailers. Bath is the perfect Christmas shopping destination with all the top high street brands as well as a host of great independents set in a beautiful heritage city.“
Switching on the lights is a favourite family event on the festive calendar.
This year the entertainment starts at 5.30 pm on Wednesday 12th November with a special performance by The Fade from City of Bath College followed by Bristol based-singer song writer, Jane Taylor plus the stars of Bath Rugby – the entire squad will be on stage to switch on the lights together with Justin Webb, Presenter of BBC Radio 4 Today Programme who has recently been named Patron of the Bath Rugby Foundation.
The highlight of the evening will be a spectacular sound and light show created by Bath company Enlightened with the focus on Jolly’s and historic Milsom Street; a memorable start to the Christmas shopping season.
The Christmas lights, funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council are designed to resemble glittering chandeliers and pay tribute to Bath’s glamorous past.
Councillor David Dixon, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On Ceremony is set to put Bath on the map like never before.
“Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to provide more than 70 individual Christmas light features around the city centre, which make up this year’s magnificent display.
“The Council is supporting event in a bid to attract even more shoppers and visitors to enjoy what’s on offer in Bath in the run up to Christmas.”
The story of Jolly’s reflects a heritage of retail innovation. In the 1820s James Jolly the company founder, recognised the commercial opportunities offered by fashionable Bath and set up shop.
His son, Thomas became the driving force behind establishing the business on Milsom Street and was a pioneer of fixed-price merchandising; before that time customers had to ask the price.