Plymouth Barbican Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving Ceremony to be held on the Mayflower Steps, Barbican, Plymouth, UK

The Plymouth Waterfront Partnership (PWP), Association of Barbican Businesses (ABB) members and other local Barbican businesses are hosting a number of events on the run up to Christmas. Here’s a look at what is on offer for 2013 :).

Please Note: Times & activities subject to change. will contain the updated times / details if changes are made.

Thursday 28th November – Thanksgiving Service

A large marquee is being obtained to host the Mayflower Steps service, followed by Thanksgiving lunch for invited guests. There will be schools involvement and entertainment with a Thanksgiving/American theme.

Later in the afternoon, the marquee will be set up for the evening switch on of Christmas Lights (from around 17:45). Father Christmas will arrive on an RNLI rib to Commercial Wharf and assist with the switch on together with local children who are competition winners.

Lights will be switched on so it is brightly lit ready for a children’s lantern parade with the route starting at Commercial Wharf, down The Barbican onto Quay Road to The Parade, out onto Southside Street opposite Kaya Gallery, along Southside Street and back to the Marquee.

There will be street entertainers around the area – with the theme being Christmas :).

A Christmas Post Box will be available for letters to Santa – it will be outside the Tourist Information Centre in good weather and inside during bad. Children’s letters will be answered and one will be drawn by Father Christmas and that child will be the one who turns the lights on with the celebrity and Father Christmas.

Local businesses by the PWP are being encouraged to light their shop fronts with lanterns or hang them in windows to add to the overall ambience and get “in the mood” for the Christmas festivities. Also local businesses with boats are being urged to light their boats.

Thanksgiving on the Plymouth Barbican

The Thanksgiving ceremony will commence with a flag rising by the Guildhall which will take place at the flag base. Members of the PWP will escort the Assistant Naval Attache at the event.


10:00 Guests arrive at Guildhall Flag Pole
10:10 Pipers from the Plymouth Pipe Band Perform
10:30 Flag Raising
10:45 Guests depart in coach to Mayflower Steps
11:00 Guests arrive at Mayflower Steps
11:05 Pipers from the Plymouth Pipe Band Perform
11:15 Welcome by PWP – Chris Arscott – Speech from US Senator Murray
11:20 Performances by St Maurice Primary School
11:29 Lord Mayor Speaks and lays a commemoration wreath
11:32 Short address from the Naval Attache – United States Navy
11:35 Performance by St Peters C.E
11:45 Ceremony ends

Lantern/Thanksgiving Parade

Around 200 Christmas lanterns will light up the Barbican in a Lantern precession through the Barbican. A sight not to be missed!

Evening Schedule:

17:00 – Entertainment starts
17:00-18:30pm – Stuart Musicians – An amazing array of Stuart/17th Century music and instruments will be played throughout the evening.
17:20-17:30 – Elite Cheerleaders
17:30 – Santa to arrive via RNLI rib, will then head towards Mayflower Steps to greet competition winner
17:30-17:40 – Itali Conti performance
17:45 – Lights are switched on by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Santa and Competition winner
17:50 – Lantern Parade starts
18:15 – Lantern Parade to finish
18:30 – Finish

Barbican Christmas Festival – Friday 29th November, Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December

Plymouth Barbican Christmas Lights

Plymouth Barbican Christmas Lights – Photo by Sharon Chapman

The marquee will be used to host a local producers and arts and crafts market, under cover in the marquee. The same concession used for Thanksgiving lunch will be in attendance with Christmas fayre, mulled wine, mince pies and hot chestnuts.

Saturday and Sunday Street Entertainment

Saturday 30th November – Introducing the whizzy and wondrous ‘Goodometer’ machine. Two Elves are checking who’s been good and naughty this past year. Place your hand upon the Ingenious device to find out. Much laughter is generated with each revelation!

Sunday 1st December – The Lairy Christmas Fairy and two Christmas Puddings will be causing mischief on the Sunday from 12-3pm. Granny’s Christmas puddings are in high spirits and running amok. They love dancing to cheesey Christmas tunes and quietly sneaking up on you for a quick cuddle. Luckily Lairy Fairy flutters close-by to keep the peace.

The Owl Sanctuary will have a stand with their owls and some charity awareness material for the public.

The Rotary Club will be on site with the festive themed tombola and Christmas characters throughout Saturday and Sunday.

A Brass Band (TBC) will be performing from 1-3pm, Saturday on West Pier (note to be confirmed).

For full details and timings of these events please see the Visit Plymouth Barbican Christmas page…

Christmas Lights

Building upon last year, a trail will start to link the city centre with the Waterfront, starting at the site of the Old Town Wall at the top of Royal Parade (Minster Church side). Looking across from that stainless steel sculpture the walls of Whimple Street businesses will once again be lit and be joined this year by businesses in St Andrew Street.

The lights will continue down the lower half of St Andrew Street with fitments on St. Andrews Court – to the junction of Notte Street. In the middle of that trail of lights, the Barbican sign will again go up at the entrance to Southside Street leading along the string of lights to the end of Southside Street. The 6 trees on the left hand side of the entrance to Bretonside will also be lit up – heralding the start of Christmas at this important gateway if approaching from the Plymstock direction of the city.

Businesses late night openings – 4th and 11th December

Plymouth Barbican Christmas Late Night Opening 2013

Organised by the ABB (Association of Barbican Business). The Barbican businesses are having their late night openings on 4th and 11th December. The PWP will also be encouraging other businesses to remain open as well. The PWP are looking into engaging with local community and businesses to provide music, choirs and street entertainment to cover those evenings and once again we are asking all businesses to take part, including our boat trip and fishing trip businesses lighting up to add to the ambience of the area.

Our volunteer team here on the Plymouth Barbican Waterfront Website will be supporting the local businesses again via the website and our social media networks :).