Big Switch On


The Big Switch On is on the 26th November 2021 in the Square.

The timings will be:

  • 17.00 – RNLI float a candle starts at the wharf
  • 18.10 – Santa arrives at Audlem Wharf on the Audlem Lass and processes to the Square
  • 18.25 – The Big tree is switched on
  • 18.30 – St James school choir sing in the church steps
  • 18.45 – Santa's Grotto opens (booking system will be advertised beforehand)

Alongside the Big Switch On, many shops will extend their opening hours to enable you to conduct some late night shopping.

The Big Switch On is the culmination of many activities that ADAS undertake beforehand.

The tree is transported into the village and erected/dropped into place on the Saturday before Switch-on. The work to dress the tree then commences putting 2000 lights on the tree. The Furber family, Johnathan Gleave, Pete Hollingshead and Phil Baker all volunteer their time and the use of their equipment to accomplish the work. In 2020 the Cherry picker used to dress the big tree was kindly supplied and sponsored by Jim and Jodie Roberts.

ADAS also erect 64 small (5 foot) Christmas trees around the village. Each tree needs to be dressed with 10 metres of LED lights with the lights tied to the tree with cable ties, otherwise they fall off. This work normally takes place in a barn (thank you Linden) within the village over 2 days by village volunteers, but in 2020 took place in the car-park of the Lord Combermere pub as it was shut due to lockdown. Once dressed, the trees are installed into their holders around the village.

The following describes the Switch On when it is not constrained by Covid-19 rules.

On the morning of the Switch-on, the small Christmas tree are switched on and volunteers transform Martin and Chrissies garage into Santa's grotto ready for Santa to arrive later on. Santa's grotto is free to children but a donation by accompanying adults would be appreciated.

The butter market is dressed with lights and the Public Address system is installed.

The safety barriers which are provided free of charge by PET tool Hire are erected at 17.30

At 18.25 the Big Switch ON sponsor (Phil and Barbara Baker and family in 2019) switches on the big tree lights surrounded by some 800 people who follow Santa from the canal wharf to the square to witness the big moment.

The Children from St James school then sing a selection of songs from the Church steps followed by Santa welcoming the first children into his grotto at 18.45.

Drivers attempting to travel through Audlem should be prepared for delays between 18.00 and 19.00 and should also be aware that many children are around the centre of the village from 17.00 to 20.30.

If you would like to sponsor the light switch on please contact ADAS via email to or contact committee member.

In total around 328 hours of ADAS volunteer work goes into making the Big Switch On event happen. If you would like to volunteer please email or speak to a committee member.

Please be aware that during the Switch-on traffic is still flowing through the village so please ensure you are safely stood behind the safety barriers.

© 2012-2021 | ADAS – Audlem & District Amenities Society
Reg. Charity No. 502441
Audlem & District Amenities Society
(Registered Charity No. 502441)