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City of Lights Procession - Truro Cornwall

Updated on October 6, 2016

City of Lights Procession, Truro

Truro's City of Lights is an annual procession through the town, marking the start of the Christmas season. It's a fairly new annual event, starting in the past few years.

Cornwall has a strong history of design and innovation, with a couple of world-leading Arts Colleges close by, the paper lanterns in the City of Lights pull out more than all the stops!

It's only been since 2008 that the City of Lights was merged with the Xmas Lights Switch On, but it works beautifully, bringing residents and shoppers together in anticipation of the season to come.

Building the paper lanterns will have taken months of preparation and design, and weeks of work to put together. Local schools and community groups work together to bring out something bigger and better each year.Some of the lanterns are in excess of 20' in size.

The City of Lights festival is completely self-funded.

Additionally, there are various music and arts events around the town, starting when the shops close, to keep you entertained until the main event.

There are also various street vendors, so now's a great time to get yourself some hot chestnuts or a hot dog.

City of Lights, Truro, 2016


The date for the City of Lights Festival is Wednesday 23 November, starting at 7pm

City of Lights Festival, Truro
City of Lights Festival, Truro

Time & Place of the City of Lights

Any programme is likely to change, so check the local press before you set out, but the procession will most likely start at 7pm at Victoria Gardens

Once the City of Lights procession reaches Lemon Quay, at about 8.30pm, there's a large firework display.

One great thing about the route is that you can cut through the town and see it twice, or more! The procession is quite fast-moving, but with a circuitous route it means you can really follow the action easily and cut through to exactly where you want to be.

There's a real carnival atmosphere - often accompanied by the fabulously damp winter air! But keep a stiff upper lip and you'll be fine, especially if you cozy up with a hot toddy shortly afterwards.

Procession and Route Changes

As the event is still new, things will change over the years.

In 2009, the route was extended, so that after Lemon Quay the procession went along Lower Lemon Street, left into Boscawen Street and concluded at Truro Cathedral at 8.45pm.

In later years the route was amended to start at Victoria Gardens.

Changes are unavoidable as the City of Lights is very popular, so each year more organisations want to be part of the action and they are accommodated where possible, meaning changes will occur as the event develops.

Directions to City of Lights Procession, Truro

Some of the public car parks will be open, if you're near a Park & Ride route they'll be open late especially for the event. Otherwise, just be aware that some roads will be closed, so set out in plenty of time and don't get annoyed if your usual/favourite car park is inaccessible.


NOTE: The route/timings and extent of the route may change slightly as new parts are added to the night.

And don't forget to stop in at one of the local hostelries that'll be open - and fully decorated ready for Xmas. Get your festive season off to a great start with this feel-good factor night and a bit of indulgence for yourself.

The Start of Late Night Shopping in Truro

The procession is the start of the Xmas season and late night shopping in Truro - heralding the start of that crazy time in the lead up to Xmas Day.

It's a great opportunity to pay a visit to the town, just to see what's on offer and to start to plan your annual festivities and see new products, new ideas and pick up a few early presents.


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    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      How beautiful!!