Wigan borough’s Christmas countdown

An eclectic mix of festive activities will descend on Wigan borough next month as the popular "Frost Fest" returns for its third year.

In addition to the traditional Christmas light switch on events and Santa parades, Wigan Council is working with partners to deliver an exciting new programme including light trails, new artwork and Christmas markets.

Frost Fest will officially launch on Thursday November 18 in Wigan town centre with a Christmas market and funfair.

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On Friday November 19, the local authority will present "Light Night", a new programme celebrating two of the borough’s watercourses with a two-day light trail at Wigan Pier and a 10-day installation by internationally renowned artist, Luke Jerram, at Pennington Flash.

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Leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux said: “The lead up to Christmas is always a vibrant time in our borough and we’re keen to ensure such spirit continues, which is why we’ve looked for new ways to inspire festivity and celebration.

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"We’re excited to have a vibrant mix of activities on offer this year, combining our traditional events with new ones, which can be enjoyed by all.”

Produced by Things That Go On Things and funded by Wigan Council and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, ‘Light Night’ will offer visitors from the borough and beyond the opportunity to explore the canal, towpath and locks around Wigan Pier by following a trail of light installations between Wigan Pier and Chapel Lane bridge.

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Atherton's Christmas decorations

A brand-new piece of artwork by Luke Jerram will also be unveiled at Pennington Flash, commissioned especially for Light Night by Wigan Council and Quays Culture.

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Previous works from Jerram include ‘Museum of the Moon’ - a 7 metre wide spherical replica of the moon - which was suspended in the air.

Coun Molyneux added: “The Wigan Pier Quarter and Pennington Flash are two iconic areas within our borough. We hope that by bringing light to these incredible places we can remind people of the importance of taking time to explore and appreciate their local surroundings, at the same time as presenting some beautiful work.”

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Light Night in Wigan town centre will run across Friday 19 and Saturday 20 November and places for the trail can be booked on Eventbrite.

Last years Christmas lights in Wigan town centre
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Luke Jerram’s piece will be available for viewing until Sunday 28 November at Pennington Flash, however, any viewings between 4pm and 10pm should be booked in advance on Eventbrite so the local authority can manage numbers.

In 2020, Frost Fest activities including the town centre light switch on, were delivered virtually in partnership with local bands and radio presenter, Chris Milow, as part of a shared commitment to ensuring the anticipated festive show could still go ahead in line with Covid-19 guidance.

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For programme updates and Eventbrite links, please follow Wigan Council and This is Wigan on Facebook and Twitter.

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