A stroll around Gibraltar No. 16 : Christmas lights 2016

Gibraltar does do Christmas lights well, so I thought I’d take you on a little nocturnal stroll with me to show you some of them. 

Back in November there was the now annual event of the Festival of Lights, when school choirs and dance groups put on a large extravaganza before the big Christmas light switch on. You can read all about 2015’s Festival of Light here.

As is the tradition, the area of John MacIntosh Square (also know locally as the Piazza) is the scene of the Festival of Light, and after the event, the square is given over to a small Christmas Fair complete with fairground rides for smaller children. This year, the area has been illuminated with these arches of fairy lights which are really quite stunning as you round the corner and see it.

The square is flanked on three sides by brightly lit buildings too: Gibtelecom

The City Hall:

And opposite the City Hall, is the Gibraltar Parliament Building.

Main Street, the main shopping area is of course lit up too. The lights extend from beyond Southport Gates and past the Governor’s residence, the Convent (which you can see with the Christmas tree above the porch).

The lights continue along past the shops.

Even the smaller streets off Main Street have Christmas lights too.

Away from the pedestrianised shopping areas, the traffic islands haven’t been immune to the Christmas light treatment too.

This one, even features a luminous Santa Claus, who just hours before this photo was taken was face down in the plants. It looked like he’d had a heavy night at a Christmas party! He’d been restored to his former position by the time I returned with my camera, so his blushes were spared.

Aside from the municipal illuminations, the residential estates have put on a fair show this year too. Here’s the offering at Beach View Terrace near Eastern Beach…

…the residents of South District have put on a show too…

…as have the Alameda Estate.

I think the collective prize for best effort has got to go to the residents of Catalan Bay. Several houses have made a big effort, both those facing the road …

…and facing the sea.

Even the gardeners at the Alameda Gardens have jazzed up their main entrance gates.

To my mind though, there is one stand out winner this year and that is the City Fire Station. They get an A* for effort and win this year’s Postcard from Gibraltar prize for Best Christmas Lights by a mile.

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas…


This evening, hundreds of people took to the streets of Gibraltar to see the Christmas lights get switched on. The Festival of Light officially kicks off the festive season in this part of the world and did it in style.

Children from local dance schools, the Gibraltar Academy of Music and a school choir took to the stage to entertain the crowds ahead of the main event. 

New for this year, a light show was beamed onto the façade of the City Hall, which brought a snow flurry to the Piazza.

The show brought oohs and gasps from the crowd.

There was even a sneaky peak at Santa and his elves’ workshop which delighted the smaller members of the crowd.


The British and Gibraltar national anthems featured in the
soundtrack accompanying the film and drew applause from those watching.
  In thought the show was a really lovely touch. It was paid for by three local firms and was a fantastic production.

After a countdown, the lights came on kicking off the festive season here. They will stay lit until after the Cavalcade on 5th January.


Well done Gibraltar, our family had a really lovely evening. I guess I’d better start getting organised now, Christmas is coming!