IT’S that time of year again when towns across the county are starting to get in the Christmas spirit and fill the streets with decorations.

Wiltshire is known for its spectacular Christmas lights which are often organised by volunteers within the community, and this year will be no different.

Santa’s grottos, Christmas markets and carol singing will be coming to towns for families to get in the Christmas spirit, and many towns will have special guests to do the honours.

In Trowbridge, new for 2019, the town council have announced a magical, spectacular Lantern Parade to form part of the day.

Scores of beautiful, handcrafted willow lanterns will be paraded through the town centre led by a lively and colourful samba band.

Creating a carnival feel to proceedings, the lantern parade will help bring together the community of Trowbridge to share in the magic of Christmas, spreading light throughout the town.

The parade will take place at 4.00pm.

The town council have hosted a couple of fun and instructional free workshops at the Information Centre for families to build there own lantern.

Karl Buckingham, who organised the lantern making session, said: “We are really trying to make the Christmas period about community and not just the stalls.

“We invited people from Trowbridge to help us make these lanterns in preparation for the parade. We’re expecting more than 100 lanterns.

“Schools in the area have also helped us make the lanterns as well which is fantastic.”

For further information please visit the Trowbridge Town Council website or contact Victoria Spriggs, event and admin support officer, Trowbridge Town Council on 01225 765072 or email her at

In Westbury, a Christmas market will be held the night of the switch on, and the town council are still looking for local businesses to hold stalls.

A spokesman said: “Westbury town council are busy preparing for the Westbury Christmas celebrations and lights switch-on.

“As well as preparing a packed programme of festive fun, the town council is also taking bookings from stall holders for our Christmas Market.

“The indoor pitches are fully booked and outdoor pitches are still available with a very low price.

“The town council is keen to involve as many local businesses as possible in the event and we are offering special rates for Westbury based businesses.

“Whether you sell at lots of events or are thinking about taking a pitch for the first time, then this event will be perfect for you.”

Stall holder booking forms are available from the town council website.

Melksham’s Christmas lights display is traditionally regarded as one of the best in Wiltshire and organisers keen to maintain their reputation.

Paul Weymouth, managing director of Light Fantastic, says they are still on course for the big switch-on and work on putting up the wires and lights for this year’s £7,000 display has begun.

The volunteers will put up the strings between columns for the displays and connecting lights to above shops and to the town hall.

The annual display is funded through donations, grants and fund-raising events, such as the town’s Bonfire Night fireworks display which was held last Friday at the rugby club.

CHRISTMAS lights displays will be switched on in these towns this year:


Saturday, December 7, Melksham’s Christmas Lights switch On at 5pm.

Organised by a team of willing volunteers supported by Melksham Town Council the event is one the biggest in the towns calendar.

Anyone who wants to the see the turn on should be at the Market Place to see the lights turned on by 5pm. The event will be celebrated with a firework display.

The festivities begin with the arrival of Santa and the opening of the Christmas Fayre from 2.30pm with lots of fantastic stalls supporting local crafts and good causes.

The Market Place itself will be transformed with a stage hosting a DJ and local band the Decibelles, lots of stalls and funfair rides.

Following his arrival excited children will be able to meet Santa in his grotto from 3pm.


Saturday, November 30, Warminster’s Christmas Lights Switch event will take place between 4-8pm at St Lawrence Chapel in the High Street. The Christmas Lights Switch-on is at 6.30pm.

The events begin with a Christmas Market at Warminster Civic Centre from 10am-4pm.

There will be the Mayor’s charity raffle, gift and craft stalls, produce, Santa’s grotto, festive music and stilt walkers.

A Children’s lantern parade will gather at 5.45pm in the Three Horseshoes Walk, with a samba band, food vendors, carols, zumba, stilt walkers, Charlie the donkey and a petting zoo.

There will be children’s lantern workshops at Warminster Civic Centre on Tuesday, October 29 and Friday, November 1 from 1.30-3.30pm.

Warminster Town Council is also staging a best-dressed Christmas window display competition for retailers to bring the magic to the town with added lights and sparkle.

The winner will receive a meal for two in the Agra Indian Restaurant and a trophy presented by the Mayor, Cllr Paul Macfarlane. Certificates will be awarded for highly commended windows.

Windows will be judged on the following criteria: spirit of Christmas, innovation, illumination, use of products and props if applicable, and impact.

“Your Christmas window will be entered automatically, and photographs will be shown on social media @warminstertowncouncil. Judging takes place the first week of December.”

Business owners closely connected to Warminster Town Council are not eligible to take part.


Saturday, November 30, Westbury’s Christmas Celebration takes place in the Market Place, with music and entertainment from 3pm-7.15pm.

This year includes a Children’s Fun Fair on the High Street, leading into a street market on Maristow Street and Edward Street with food stalls in the Market Place, as well as an indoor market in All Saints Church Hall from 1pm – 7pm.

Magicians, crafts for kids and a couple of pop-up choirs will also be filling Westbury’s festive streets this year.

In the Market Place, there will be music and entertainment from 3pm – 7.15pm. The Christmas Lights Switch-on is at 6.15pm.

Bradford on Avon

Friday, November 29, Bradford Christmas light Switch on Event.

This year’s event will once again fill Westbury Garden with music, fun and festivities from 5pm until 8pm. There will be late night shopping, an indoor Christmas Gift Fair and festive dining across the town.

The main event, when the lights illuminate the town, will be at 6:30pm, when the Shining Light of Bradford on Avon and the Mayor will do the countdown.

Performances in Westbury Garden will come from:

Swing with Soul, St Laurence School Choir and Groovy Movers.

There will also be street entertainment from Nothing Like a Dame, fairground rides and delicious food and drink.

The Giving Tree will also be in Lamb Yard, where you can donate items such as pet food, toys and blankets to Bath Cats & Dogs Home.


Saturday, November 30, Trowbridge sees the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Trowbridge Park.

Between 10.30am and 6pm, visitors will find a huge range of family-friendly entertainment and activities throughout the day, fairground attractions, festive donkey rides, great food and drink, and live music.

Rocktopus will be providing early evening entertainment on the stage before the switch-on itself at 5.00pm.

A Lantern Parade will form part of the day accompanied by a samba band. The parade will take place at 4pm.

The Town Council will be hosting a number of fun and instructional workshops at different locations throughout the local community in the run up to the Lantern Parade.

They will teach traditional willowcraft techniques and enabling people to produce willow lanterns. Materials will be provided.