Posted : 3 March 2022


Dundee’s revamped Christmas offering was visited by over 267,500 people and generated £2.6m for the city’s economy, it was revealed today.

Christmas in Dundee 2021 featured the Winterfest event in Slessor Gardens, which included a festive market, skating rink and a big wheel, as well as a winter wonderland in City Square and new Christmas lights in the streets.

An evaluation of the Christmas activity has now been completed – and it revealed the event was hugely popular with visitors.

Plans are now being put in place to ensure Dundee city centre is once again the place to be, for locals and visitors alike, during the 2022 Christmas period.

Councillor Mark Flynn, convener of city development, said: “We promised we'd build a bigger and better celebration for Christmas 2021 and that’s what we’ve achieved.

“There was a real buzz about the town, with activities for young and old alike, and that’s now being borne out in the evaluation.

“The surveys that were done with hundreds of visitors showed that 90% rated the event as good or very good, while 88% had a more positive impression of Dundee due to the activities.

“The visitor numbers between City Square and Slessor Gardens are fantastic, and the direct economic impact of £2.6million shows that our ambitious plans for Christmas have really made their mark on the city.

“By whatever measure you look at – the enjoyment of those who attended or the economic impacts of the event – it’s been a huge success.”

A team of evaluators conducted site surveys to measure social and economic impact and to monitor the audience demographics and event experience.

The survey found that over two-thirds said attending had a very positive impact on their health and wellbeing. A further 68% said that the event helped with "quality time with my family.”

Economic impact findings included: just under three in 10 people who attended were visitors to the city; and 84 temporary jobs were created.

Councillor John Alexander, leader of the city council, said: “I want the kind of superb Christmas offering that Dundee had in 2021 to be a permanent fixture, and we are already planning for this year.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be exactly the same – we want to learn from 2021 so that we can build and improve.

“We also want to harness the positivity and get others on board, particularly businesses who might want to get involved and help us to offer something even bigger and better next year.”

Christmas In Dundee 2021 was funded by Dundee City Council, with support from Event Scotland.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “We were delighted to support Christmas in Dundee 2021 through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and it is wonderful to see the positive impact the Christmas activity had on visitors and the community as a whole. It reinforces the important role events play both to our communities and the country as a whole.”

A spokesperson for M&N Events, organisers of Winterfest, said: “We are overjoyed at the positive impact WinterFest created for visitors and for the city of Dundee, and glad that our investment in the event was able to contribute to a more festive feel in the city.

“We are delighted that so many people were able to enjoy a Christmas event of this scale where they were able to have fun and feel safe. We are very excited to be able to bring a bigger and better WinterFest to Dundee for 2022 and are already working on ways we can deliver this.”

Posted : 24 November 2021

With the illumination of Dundee’s brand-new Christmas lights on Friday night, it’s certainly starting to look like Christmas in Dundee, and the excitement is set to continue to rise with the commencement of activities in City Square, and the opening of Winterfest in Slessor Gardens in the coming days.

Event Scotland have supported the team at Dundee City Council to create Christmas in Dundee, crafting a winter wonderland in the City Square. From December 2nd-24th, the square is playing its part the city’s Christmas celebrations.

Nightly projections on the City Chambers and illuminated wishing fountains will sparkle into the evening, and those in the mood to get the ultimate festive selfie can head to the specially-commissioned Beano 3D Dundee Christmas Card filled with the comic’s best-loved characters.

Dundee’s iconic Pingoo will return too, and those wishing to help those most in need can donate gifts at Social Bite’s Tree of Kindness. Throughout the celebrations, there will be a free-to-enjoy activity tent, with a jam-packed schedule of festive workshops and the opportunity to write letters to Santa.

Visitors to the city centre can also check out the new “living tree” which is lit up outside the City Churches, with one of the area’s majestic evergreens chosen to take pride of place for the celebrations.

Friday November 26th will see the kick-off of Winterfest in Dundee’s Slessor Gardens. A celebration of all things festive, visitors can book a slot at the stunning new ice rink, then enjoy breathtaking views from the illuminated Big Wheel. They can also stroll through the Christmas Market picking up treats, then heat up at the Bavarian-themed bar with a delicious hot chocolate or mulled wine.

Taking to the ice at Winterfest, Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “There’s been a real sense of excitement building in Dundee over the past few weeks as the fantastic new Christmas offering comes together.

“It’s great to see the new lights up, Winterfest getting ready to open in a couple of days and of course lots happening in the City Square throughout December. Businesses are gearing up too and it’ll be a busy few weeks for our shops, bars and restaurants.

“We promised we'd look to build a bigger and better celebration this festive period and I think we have delivered. So, get your skates on and come down to see everything the city has to offer this Christmas.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: "We are delighted to support Christmas in Dundee through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

"Events play an important role in our communities, enabling us all to connect, enjoy and share memorable experiences. Having them in our calendar further strengthens Scotland’s outlook and position as a world-leading events destination and reinforces Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for events.

"The variety of activities on offer across the programme, highlights that there is truly set to be something for everyone in Dundee this forthcoming winter season.”

Posted : 7 November 2019

5.30pm – 9pm, Friday, 15th November, 2019 City Square, Albert Square & city centre streets

As darkness falls on the evening of Friday, November 15, buses across Dundee will be ferrying passengers to a spectacular event in the city centre – Dundee’s Christmas Light Night.

Dundee’s Christmas Light Night will bring sparkle, colour and the flicker of flaming torches to the city centre streets, marking the lighting of the city’s Christmas decorations and the start of over two months of seasonal festivities in and around Dundee.

Cllr Alan Ross, Convener for Dundee, One City, Many Discoveries, said:

“This is shaping up to be a fantastic and unique event for Dundee.  The combination of street entertainment and late night shopping culminating in the Christmas Ceilidh in City Square is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the city centre.”

Dundee’s Christmas Light Night will begin with fun and music in City Square from 5.30pm, along with impromptu Street Theatre performances, exciting carnival rides, a Wishing Wall and the chance to sing and dance through Dundee’s streets on a Silent Disco Tour.

Then, at 6.30pm, when the festive atmosphere’s in full swing, a breathtaking Torchlight Procession will wind its way from the High School of Dundee to the City Square, passing through Albert Square, Commercial Street and the High Street.

The lanterns which will be ablaze for Dundee’s Christmas Light Night’s Torchlight Procession were made by the people of Dundee at special workshops earlier in the year.

Organisers are inviting people to join in with the atmospheric procession on the night. Torchbearers simply need to register at the High School of Dundee meeting point at 5.30 pm on November 15 and be ready to join the procession when it begins at 6.30pm.

Once the Torchlight Procession reaches City Square, the traditional countdown will begin for the Christmas Light Switch On, when the city’s show-stopping decorations and, of course, the giant Christmas tree, will burst into colour.

For younger visitors, a more relaxed countdown will take place in Albert Square - The Mini Christmas Lights Switch On. This family-orientated event will include a kids’ disco, face painting – and an illuminated Pingoo, the loveable Christmas penguin.

In addition, there will be a very special bus stop on Albert Square, where Mrs Claus will be welcoming children on board the Santa Bus, which is making a magical journey from Lapland specially for Dundee’s Christmas Light Night. The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and will also be joining in the fun, keeping their doors open until 7.30pm.

Once the lights are shining brightly all over the city centre, Dundee’s Christmas celebrations will continue in City Square with a massive Christmas Ceilidh with live music from top ceilidh band, Skyrie.

Dundee’s Christmas Light Night also features a free nativity play in the atmospheric setting of the Steeple Church. Dundee Nativity – The Christmas Angel allows the Archangel Gabriel to tell his version of the first Christmas and will include chances for younger members of the audience to join in.

Christine McGlasson, Managing Director, Xplore Dundee said:

“Dundee’s Christmas Light Night is always a wonderful evening for all the family and as always, we're delighted to transport people to and from this fabulous event by bus. And we hope everyone will experience the excitement of Christmas when they meet Mrs Claus on our Santa Bus, which is back for the festive season and will be welcoming kids of all ages on board. What a wonderful way to begin Christmas in Dundee, with a packed programme of celebrations which will continue until January 2020.”

Plan your Dundee Christmas Light Night experience

Christmas in Dundee features a wide range of festive events, including markets, winter fayres, workshops, foodie experiences, plays, concerts, ballet, pantomimes, children’s shows, live music, carol singing, exhibitions, dancing and even Christmas movies!

For the full programme of events, including information about bus routes over the festive period, download a copy of the Christmas in Dundee Festive Guide from


Posted : 27 November 2017

Dundee has held their annual Christmas Light Night, check out some of the pictures from all of the weekends events here!

The Torch Light Procession

The Torch Light Procession kicked off at Dundee High School and headed to City Square with music from Town Waits and The Boys Brigade Pipe Band.


Torchlight 2

The Christmas Lights Switch On

The lights and tree in City Square were turned on by the Lord Provost and Santa.

 Christmas Tree

<--break->Big Winter Warm Up

Dundee Leisure and Culture led a festive group aerobics workout in the City Square.

 Winter Warm Up

<--break->Wishing Wall

Crowds headed down to Shore Terrace to make a special wish at our Wishing Wall.

 Wishing Wall

Celebratory Fireworks

To celebrate the Christmas festivities there was a spectacular firework display in City Square and could be seen from Slessor Gardens.

<--break->Pop Up Christmas Market

Over Friday and Saturday Slessor Gardens held a pop up market selling food, drinks and gifts.



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