An Exciting Christmas for Rochdale Riverside

After last year’s virtual switch on, Rochdale Riverside is delighted to host the Christmas Lights Switch-On this year alongside lots of other magical family entertainment on Saturday 20th November. With more Christmas lights than ever before, a series of very special light displays, and live street theatre will take place from 3.30pm onwards.

These include:

  • Spark! – A mesmerising show combining high impact drumming with kaleidoscopic lighting and music.
  • Heliosphere – A giant colourful balloon suspending an aerial acrobat.
  • Moths at Work – A disco theatre full of colour and fun.
  • Wonderland Birds – Giant and brightly coloured birds from the ’12 Days of Christmas’ song.
  • Curiosity Christmas Tree – A cross between a giant marble run and a magical clockwork toy with tinkling bells and lights.
  • Sybil the Baby Whale – Created by Littleborough Arts Festival.
  • The Celestial Sound Cloud – An interactive installation where you move around the floor and activate musical notes, voices and magical lights.

The Rochdale Christmas Lights Switch-On is also the first time you’ll get to see Gaia – the internationally renowned installation that is an exact replica of planet earth – which can be found at Number One Riverside. The 7-foot installation aims to create a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of admiration for the planet, a profound appreciation of the interconnection of all life, and a restored feeling of responsibility for taking care of our environment.

Outside at Riverside there will be hot food, mulled wine and other seasonal drinks. Plus, Father Christmas, the Mayor and special guests will officially switch-on the lights. This will take place at 4pm and family entertainment will continue until 5.30pm.

All in all, Saturday 20th November is set to be a fantastic day for Rochdale but the fun doesn’t end there…

Every Saturday in December until Christmas, Riverside will be home to Santa and an Elf, who’ll be sneaking around the site handing out treats to those who’ve been good! The first date you’ll get to meet Santa and his Elf will be Saturday 4th December, where Riverside will also be home to a Christmas Snow Globe, the Rochdale Food & Artisan Market and some live entertainment from Rochdale Music Services, who will get us all in the Christmas spirit.

Following that on Saturday 18th December – the last Saturday to do your Christmas shopping – the Snow Globe returns once again, alongside the Christmas Vegan Market, where you can grab all the planet-friendly goodies you need ahead of Christmas.

We can’t wait to see you all over the festive period – we hope you enjoy your time at Riverside!