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Cape Town’s Festive Lights Switched On

1 December 2021

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis this week switched on the city’s popular festive lights in the CBD.

Every December, the city centre comes to life with hundreds of festive lights. You can go and check out the lights any night during the festive season.

Speaking at the official ‘switch on’ this week, Mayor Hill-Lewis reminisced about the first time he, as a young boy, witnessed the festive lights being switched on in the city centre.

“I remember my mom bringing me to Adderley Street… to see the lights being switched on. I remember the feeling of wonder and excitement seeing the lights blink on for as far as the eye could see, or at least that’s what it felt like to a small child. After the lights were on, we would walk around the stalls buying food and trinkets and sharing the evening with tens of thousands of fellow Capetonians,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

“Back then, I could not have imagined I’d one day be here switching those lights on, continuing this wonderful Cape Town family tradition. I am so proud to be sharing this moment with you and my own family, at the first switch on event as Mayor of this beautiful city.”

The Mayor added that he was sorry not to be sharing the occasion with the nearly 100 000 people that usually attend the event.

“As sad as this is, I know it was the right decision. I hope that very soon we will be able to see Adderley Street packed again, from St. George’s Cathedral all the way down to the Heerengracht.”

The annual Festive Lights Switch-on is the City’s signature event and a tradition for the past five decades as a symbolic start to the festive season.

“I have been clear about my the vision of ensuring that the City of Cape Town is the beacon of hope for South Africa in 2022 and beyond. Appropriately, this year’s festive theme is, Cape Town: City of Opportunities,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

“We want this City to work for all and provide greater access to opportunity. Much work lies ahead, but we are dedicated, motivated and inspired to serve Cape Town in 2022. Regardless of our faith, the message of this season is one of care and love.”

As we enjoy this December, let us recommit ourselves to demonstrating our caring and compassionate spirit for each other during these difficult times.

Added Mayor Hill-Lewis: “I encourage every Capetonian to do something – just one thing – this December to bless and help someone less fortunate. By doing just one random act of kindness, we will help to build the more inclusive, more caring Cape Town that we are working towards.”

The celebration isn’t limited to Adderley Street. The City has installed festive lights displays in Muizenberg, Grassy Park, Macassar, Strand, Somerset West, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Ravensmead, Valhalla Park, Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain and Atlantis.

A further 90 Christmas trees in areas across the city will be draped in lights.

The Mayor said he was relieved that the South Africa had not been placed on a stricter lockdown, and that he was hopeful that we would soon see travel bans on South Africa lifted.

“If you are seeing this event from elsewhere in South Africa, we invite to you come to Cape Town this December, and enjoy our wonderful city with us,” he said.

“We are ready to welcome you. Cape Town remains open and safe for visitors.”