Every December, Adderley Street in Cape Town comes to life with hundreds of festive lights. You can go and check out the lights any night during the festive season, but it’s worth making the effort to get to the official Festival of Lights, when the mayor turns the lights on and Adderley Street plays host to a huge free street party.
What to expect
There are stalls lining the street selling everything from food to Christmas gifts, and a live concert kicks off mid-afternoon. When the sun sets, the mayor officially turns on the lights, and Adderley Street is lit up by colourful lights. The displays depict some of the city’s history as well as Christmas themes.
Adderley Street is the venue for the annual Festival of Lights. It’s one of Cape Town’s most famous historic streets. This is where you’ll find night markets, the main Cape Town Train Station, and many shops, restaurants, and offices. It forms the historic connection between the harbour and the Company’s Garden, and stocks of fresh fruit and vegetables would be carried along this route to restock the ships. The street is home to many points of interest, including the flower market, the Golden Acre Centre, the historic Dutch Reformed Groot Kerk. Nearby, you’ll find the lively pedestrian street known as St St George’s Mall, which hosts frequent markets and events.
When the Festival of Lights takes place
The event usually happens on the first Sunday in December. The event begins around 4 pm and the lights go on around 8:30 pm. It sets the mood for the festive season in the city.
How to attend the Adderley Street Festival of Lights
Entry to the annual festival is free to the public, so all you need to do is how up and enjoy a day of fun for all ages.
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