Lights switch-on events and free parking to boost Christmas shoppers and local traders in Royal Borough. As thoughts turn to Christmas shopping and magical lights switch-ons, people are encouraged to support local traders and make the most of free parking incentives in Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton town centres.

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is announcing free all-day parking in Maidenhead on Saturdays and Sundays from 27th November to 26th December, including Christmas Day itself, plus bank holidays on 27 and 28 December and New Year’s Day. This applies to council-run car parks at Nicholson’s, Magnet, Grove Road, West Street and Hines Meadow/Stafferton Way.

This festive incentive will be welcomed by families attending Maidenhead’s Christmas lights switch-on, taking place on Saturday, 27 November at the Town Hall. The event begins with live music and entertainment on stage from 4.40pm, with a spectacular lights switch-on and fireworks display taking place at 6pm.

This year, the lights will be turned on by decorated local Team GB Olympians, Moe Sbihi MBE and Jack Beaumont, Paralympian Jeanette Chippington MBE, and the winner of Norden Farm’s Kipper’s Snowy Day Competition.

There will also be a funfair on St Ives Road from lunchtime, plus a bustling Festive Market in the High Street, trading between 9.30am and 7pm, offering local crafts, gifts, hot food, mulled wine and treats.

In Windsor and Eton, residents and visitors will be able to park free-of-charge from 4pm for the Christmas lights switch-on events, taking place in Windsor on Saturday 20 November and Eton on Thursday 18 November. This applies to car parks at Alma Road, Alexandra, King Edward VII, Romney Lock/Home Park, Victoria Street, and Eton Court/Meadow Lane.

With the majestic Windsor Castle as the backdrop, there will be a programme of live entertainment in Windsor from 3pm on 20 November, with carol-singing and community stalls all culminating in the switching on of the Christmas lights with the cast from Theatre Royal Windsor’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk.

Eton’s switch-on event will start in and around Jubilee Square from 5pm on 18th November, with food stalls, funfair rides, music, dancing and all the fun of Christmas. At 6.30pm, watch a magical Christmas procession with Father Christmas, followed by the Christmas lights switch-on in Jubilee Square at 7pm with Olympic rower and broadcaster Sir Matthew Pinsent.

There will also be free parking in those same council-run car parks in Windsor and Eton from 4pm for the late-night shopping evenings on 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23 December, and on Christmas Day itself.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, council leader and cabinet member for business, said: “We know that Christmas is a crucial time for our town centres and traders. It remains a challenging time for businesses, and we're doing everything we can to back our local retailers and support a safe, local and fun Christmas shopping experience.

“These magical switch-on events, the late-night shopping evenings, and the addition of free parking incentives in town centre car parks, will provide a much-needed boost for retailers and shoppers alike during this peak trading period.

“We have so many great local businesses, including independent stores, where you can pick up unique gifts for family and friends. So make sure you take the opportunity to enjoy the festive cheer of the magical lights switch-ons and support your local businesses.”

For more information about festive events in the Royal Borough, visit


  • Maidenhead’s Christmas Light Switch On is part-funded by the European Regional Development Welcome Back Fund.


  • A road closure will be in place on Queen Street from its junction with Broadway, High Street, St Ives Road and the Colonnade from 7am until 9pm and on-street parking will be suspended from midnight on the 26 November.