The Big Switch On is on the 29th November 2019 in the Square. The timings will be:
17.00 — RNLI float a candle at the wharf
18.10 — 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 2018 event that took place on 30th November 2018
The big Christmas tree was kindly donated by Angela and Graham Allinson of Hatherton Lodge. This is cut down and transported into the village and erected/dropped into place. The work to dress the tree then commences putting 2000 lights on the tree. The Furber family, Johnathan Gleave, Pete Hollingshead and Phill Baker all volunteered their time and the use of their equipment to accomplish the work. Thanks are also due to Voltcom for the loan of their Cherry Picker without which the tree could not be dressed.
ADAS also erect 60 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 takes place in a barn (thank you Linden) within the village over 2 days by village volunteers. On the weekend before the the Switch-on volunteers erect the trees around the village. In the following days any fixing work is carried out to ensure everything works.
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.
At 18.20 the Big Switch ON sponsor (Janet Maughan and Family) switched on the big tree lights surrounded by some 500 people who had flocked to the square to witness the big moment.
If you would like to sponsor the light switch on please contact ADAS via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact committee member.
In total around 240 hours of ADAS volunteer work goes into making the Big Switch On event happen. If you would like to volunteer please email email@example.com 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.
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.