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Diwali switch-on set to dazzle


LEICESTER is set to bathe in a sea of twinkling lights this Sunday (24 October) at the world-famous Diwali switch-on ceremony.

The event will take place on a stage in Leicester’s Belgrave Road from 6pm and promises to dazzle.

Performing the honours this year is Leicester City Council Leader, and chair of the Diwali working party, Cllr Veejay Patel. He will be joined for the ceremony by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Cllr Colin Hall, deputy leader and cabinet lead for for children and schools, Cllr Vi Dempster, Mr Navinbhai Rana, president of the Leicester Hindu Festival Council, and a representative of Santander, the sponsor.

Cllr Patel said: “We are incredibly proud of Leicester’s Diwali celebrations, which are the biggest outside India and are enjoyed by many thousands of people.

“We are very lucky that Alliance and Leicester have helped us to make them so spectacular by sponsoring us for the past seven years, and we are delighted that Santander have been able to continue that support this year.

“I hope that people will come along to see the lights and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Belgrave Road and all that it has to offer.”

The switch-on ceremony will be launched by local dancers with a programme of dance, ranging from classical to Bollywood, before the lights are turned on at

After the light switch-on, the celebrations will move from Belgrave Road to Cossington Street recreation ground, which will host a spectacular firework and
laser display from 8pm.

Leicester’s Diwali celebrations are organised by Leicester City Council and the Leicester Hindu Festival Council.

The display, which is created and put up by the city council, features more than 1000 metres of light displays, made up of 6,500 lamps.

Belgrave Flyover will be closed to traffic from 11am on Sunday, with Belgrave Road shutting at 5.30pm. It will re-open at 9.30pm.

Road closures will also be in place for the Diwali Day celebrations, which take place on Friday 5 November.

Full details of all of Leicester's Diwali celebrations are on the city council's website at

The city council has also produced a Diwali guide, which is available free of charge from shops and businesses in the Belgrave Road area of the city.


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