On Friday 18 November, over 700 people gathered in the Golden Square, to witness the official switch on of the Jewellery Quarter’s Christmas lights and mark the beginning of the festive period.
This 2-hour event, organised by the Jewellery Quarter BID, saw live performances from Birmingham’s The Glamophones who brought festive favourites and pop hits with a vintage twist and local favourites, The High Fives, rock out with renditions of recent chart-toppers.
Bouncing elves mingled with the crowd, taking selfies and checking who had been ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’, while visitors were treated to delicious street food and seasonal drinks from local Brummie vendors. Jewellery Quarter coffee house, Urban, and popular bar, Rose Villa Tavern were also open to provide festive drinks to keep the good vibes going.
Birmingham’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Carl Rice and Lady Mayoress, Mrs Deed Curry, joined the Jewellery Quarter BID in the countdown which turned on the 100+ festive lights across the Quarter.
Despite a slight drizzle, spectators were wowed by a dazzling firework display which were let off from the roof of the adjacent Big Peg Office building, one of the tallest buildings in the area.
“We want to make the Jewellery Quarter a place to go at Christmas,” comments BID Manager, Luke Crane. “The Quarter is home to high quality retail Jewellery but there’s also so much more going on than people realise.
With over fifty bars and restaurants, several major attractions and some very unique retailers, there is a lot to come to the Quarter for. The festive lights, the tree, our free parking initiative and the switch on event are all about putting the Quarter on the map as the destination to visit during this festive period.”
When asked about the event, BID Events Manager, Kim Loynes responded, “It was a fantastic event with a great number of people turning out for the big countdown.
We were really pleased with the buzz both on the square and online and were delighted to see a lot of the local businesses owners turning up and showing their support.”
Each year the Jewellery Quarter BID adorn the Quarter with bespoke lights for the festive period. The lights are inspired by the Quarter’s rich manufacturing heritage with motifs such as jewellery boxes, rings and the Assay Office Anchor.
The scheme is expanded each year to cover more streets in the area and is paid for through the business levy. In addition to this, the BID brought back the 30ft Christmas tree in the Golden Square.