Should you find yourself wandering the streets of central London in the twilight months of the year, then chances are you are a) on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift or b) searching for one of the city’s best light displays, a hallmark of the festive season in London.
Oxford Street sits firmly in the middle spot of that particular Venn diagram, and now the time we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. That’s right folks, the Oxford Street Christmas lights have made their long-awaited return!
Now that their Christmas lights have been switched on, there’s an inescapable feeling in the air that, yes, this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Aside from being an excellent shopping haven and looking pretty when doused in lights, Oxford Street has really knocked it out of the park with this opening date selection. Just after the pre-November deadline where the scrooges that say it’s too early might actually have a point? Check. A nice antidote to the clocks going back in the last week of October and leaving us in darkness? Spot on. And just before bonfire night where the sights of Christmas lights and fireworks in tandem are bound to give us the rush of endorphins we need to start off the end-of-year festivities? Right you are.
Thousands of dazzling stars will now illuminate the street every night throughout the Christmas period. The lights themselves, aside from providing ample Instagram opportunities (as always), are more sustainable than ever in 2023.
Oxford Street’s Christmas stars will shine for a slightly shorter period each day this year in a bid to cut their energy consumption in the midst of the UK’s cost of living crisis. Moreover, the stars are comprised of 300,000 LED lightbulbs made from recycled polymer, which are 75% more efficient than standard lightbulbs.
Plus, as they’re 100% recyclable, the stars can go on to be used in future Christmas light displays, wherever their journey takes them. Overall, the energy consumption will be cut by two-thirds in comparison to 2021; a healthy stride and a welcome exchange for the shorter hours of Christmas light decoration on the street.
For Christmas 2023, Oxford Street is also launching a brand new campaign called “Feel the Magic”, which will see the iconic destination transformed into a festive wonderland with many surprise and delight experiences throughout the season.
Oxford Street will also partner with children’s charity Starlight, allowing members of the public to ‘sponsor a star’ and donate to help the children have a brighter hospital stay over the coming festive season. The charity supports children in hospital to experience the power of play, boosting their wellbeing and resilience throughout treatment, care and recovery from illness.
Dee Corsi, CEO at New West End Company commented: “The world-famous lights on Oxford Street are a wonderful and inclusive experience that is free and open to the public, giving everyone the chance to celebrate the joy of Christmas magic. The dazzling display provides an incredible backdrop for a variety of festive activities on Oxford Street and across the West End, whether visitors are shopping with our fantastic mix of retailers, enjoying exceptional dining or simply spending time together creating family memories.
“This year, we are also thrilled to be partnering with a wonderful children’s charity; Starlight’s mission is to bring the joy of play to children in hospital is a cause we can all get behind, and everyone will have the opportunity to play their part by giving back”.
Also published on Medium.