Audlem & District Amenities Society
(Registered Charity No. 502441)

Big Switch On

big tree dressing

The Big Switch On is on the 24th November 2023 in the Square.

The timings will be:

  • 18.00- Santa arrives at Audlem Wharf on the Audlem Lass and processes to the Square
  • 18.20- The Big tree is switched on
  • 18.25 – 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 following describes the Switch On work for 2022

In August planning starts for the event by dusting off the checklist and ordering the 68 small Christmas trees from Crewe road Nursery. Tree lights are checked and new ones ordered to replace any damaged ones.

The big Christmas tree, kindly donated by Ann and Bryn , was cut down and transported to the square on Friday 18th December by Richard Furber, Jonathan Gleave, and Pete Hollingshead. Dressing of the tree took place on Saturday 19th November by Pete Hollingshead and Phil Baker.

Small, 5 foot, Christmas trees are picked up by Andy McClintock prior to the work to start dressing them.

Cabling of village locations to receive the small trees commences in the week prior to dressing the big tree. This year the Cherry picker has been sponsored by Johanna and transported by Tony and Tess.

On the 18th November the booking system for visiting Santa in his Grotto opened.

ADAS volunteers dressed the 68 small trees on 16th November in the barn on Churchfields. 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. On the 19th November the ladder teams put them into the brackets around the village. At this time the trees will be switched on and where required, problems are addressed.

On Friday 25th November 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 donations are welcomed. 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

Traffic and crowd management Marshalls are deployed around the village at 17.45.

At 18.00 Santa arrives at Audlem wharf onboard Audlem Lass and processes up to the square.

At 18.20 the Big Switch On sponsor Mike Harthern and family will switch 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 in front of St James church 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 – 2023 | ADAS – Audlem & District Amenities Society
Reg. Charity No. 502441