Most towns and cities across Britain have seasonal Christmas lights, nativity scenes and Christmas trees. Small villages in Cornwall do an amazing job, and the official lighting ceremony is always a fun family night out.

Christmas lights switch-on in Truro

One of the earliest places to get switched-on for Christmas is Cornwall's leading city, Truro. The City of Lights with its fabulous parade after dark follows the spectacular switching-on ceremony which will be held on 14th November 2012 on Lemon Quay. Prepare to be mesmerized by music, dance, costumed performers and art in a dazzling procession of lantern-toting school children and locals.

Christmas lights switch-on in St Austell

A similar torchlight parade and carnival in St Austell precedes the switching-on of the new Christmas lights in the town on Friday 30th November at 7pm. The whole weekend is filled with entertainment including live bands, stalls, music and dance along with some very special celebrity guests at the first ever Christmas Festival.

Christmas lights switch-on in Newquay

Lantern-carrying crowds fill Newquay's High Street to celebrate the switching on of the town's lights on 2nd December. Santa and his sleigh are prominent and leads the parade with the local brass band.

Christmas lights switch-on in Fowey

On 1st – 2nd December, the Fowey Christmas Market is the central attraction for a weekend of seasonal fun. Father Christmas arrives by boat and joins the procession through the streets to the church where the Christmas Lights are switched on at about 7pm. Hang around for the Hog Roast and enjoy choirs, bands and street entertainment throughout the weekend.

Christmas lights switch-on in Liskeard

The old market town of Liskeard really goes to town on the first weekend in December with an all-day event before the Christmas Lights are illuminated. Appropriately named the Lights Before Christmas Parade, the event culminates in an evening lantern parade. Local artists run workshops in the weeks beforehand to help construct giant structures and lanterns to light the way. School children rehearse a medley of carols to sing as part of the procession which is led by the local Silver Band with Father Christmas and a giant shadow “Picci Tree”. The event finishes with the official switching-on of the Christmas Lights followed by fireworks and late night Christmas shopping.

Christmas lights switch-on in Padstow

Padstow traditionally turns on its Christmas lights on the first Sunday in Advent at 6pm. This falls on 2nd December in 2012 and everyone is invited to join the Padstow Carollers at the band stand. The songs include traditional hymns associated with Padstow as well as more well-known Christmas carols. The following weekend is the grand Padstow Christmas festival when celebrity chefs entertain visitors in a marquee on the waterfront and there is a Christmas Market.

Christmas Lights Switch-on in Mousehole

The charming fishing harbour at Mousehole is always beautifully decorated with lights, figures and animations and the official switch-on ceremony always attracts thousands of onlookers. This year it takes place on Saturday 15th December followed by carols led by the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, members of the Mousehole Methodist Church and the Pendeen Silver Band. You may be interested to read why the lights go dark in Mousehole on 19th December every year from 8-9pm.