Festive lights switch-on: Thursday 23 November:

Spectators will be treated to a new-look celebration to kick-off the festive season. There will be:
• From 5pm, this new-look celebration to mark the start of the winter season in Hull will flood the streets around Queen Victoria Square, offering street entertainment, giveaways and surprises along the way.
• Visitors will be greeted with characters including stilt walkers dressed as a magical Snow Queen, white winter birds and a winter explorer, as well as impressive graphic poi spinning shows using stunning new LED technology. Musicians will play in Jameson Street, King Edward Street, King Edward Square and Queen Victoria Square, and there will be free glow sticks and snow flake head boppers for children.
• A spectacular ice sculpture centrepiece will be carved live by chainsaw in King Edward St into the shape of a sleigh, before visitors have the opportunity to hop on and have photographs taken with Father Christmas.
• For the first time in five years a new white LED light display will be unveiled across the city centre, providing 360 degrees of illumination to King Edward Street, Whitefriargate, Ferensway, Prospect Street and Jameson Street.
• A specially composed soundtrack by local musician and sound artist Jez riley French will play in Queen Victoria Square throughout the evening, with a crescendo at the moment the lights are switched from the steps of the Ferens Art Gallery. The soundtrack incorporates many of the sounds of winter in the north, from the falling of snow to the cracking of ice, to the ringing of reindeer bells and the sound of singing in the bleak forest. The work includes sounds gathered from Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sami people of the far north.
• At 6.30pm, the Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor John Hewitt, will be joined by Daniel Carter, aged 6 from Bransholme, outside the Ferens Art Gallery to officially switch-on the lights and start the festive season.
• To join in the celebrations 50 of the city’s much-loved UK City of Culture volunteers will be on the Hull City Hall balcony, triggering an explosion of white across Queen Victoria Square.
• As the city lights up, a spectacular firework display will launch over Queen Victoria Square at 6.30pm.
• Nayan Kulkarni, the artist who presented ‘Blade’ to the world at the beginning of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, has also been specially commissioned to bring a star-themed lighting scheme into Queen Victoria Square with Hull City Hall, Ferens Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum all decorated in light. Kulkarni is also working on permanent artistic lighting as part of Hull City Council’s UK City of Culture legacy programme, to be unveiled early in the New Year.
• A number of Christmas trees, kindly donated by the Forestry Commission, will feature in Queen Victoria Square