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Surrey Christmas Tree Lighting Festival

Surrey Tree Lighting at City Hall

The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival is a family event marking the start of the winter season with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree at Surrey City Hall.

In addition to the Christmas tree and various activities for children, highlights of the event for everyone include an afternoon of festivities with free live concerts.

(Note: In 2021, in addition to the one-day tree-lighting event, there was a new festival happening throughout the Christmas season in the same location. Surrey Holiday Lights ran from November 25th until January 2nd.)


Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

In 2020, the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival was scheduled to take place online from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Saturday, November 21st. It was originally going to be a live event, but then had to be a virtual event because of COVID-19 concerns instead.

The event returned to its in-person format in 2021! It took place on Saturday, November 20th, from noon until 10:00 pm. As always, admission was free.

The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival has always been a free event. It typically includes storytelling and family-friendly activities for children, holiday crafts, food trucks, live entertainment and the lighting of a 60-foot Christmas tree in the plaza outside Surrey City Hall.

2022 details are to be confirmed.


Festival Location

In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival takes place in the Civic Plaza at Surrey City Hall and in the City Hall Atrium at 13450-104 Avenue in Surrey. Some activities also take place next door in the Surrey City Centre Public Library.

The venue is conveniently located right by the Surrey Central SkyTrain Station.


Surrey Christmas Tree Lighting Festival


Festival Date and Schedule

Festival activities usually run from 12:00 to 8:00 pm on the Saturday of the event. However, as stated above, the festival ran from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm as a virtual event in 2020. In 2021 the event ran from noon until 10:00 pm (so for a couple of hours longer than usual).

Proof of vaccination was required for entry to the event, and masks were required in the Enchanted Village tent. They were not required for the outdoor sections, but recommended.

To give you an idea of what 2022’s schedule might look like, below is the schedule from the last time the live event took place.


2021 Main Stage Entertainment

The 2021 live performance schedule on the festival’s Main Stage outside in the Plaza featured the following performers:

  • 12:00 pm – Ginalina & Holiday Friends
  • 12:50 pm – Santa’s Welcome
  • 1:10 pm – JJ Lavallee
  • 2:00 pm – Dance Showcase: Stray Path & Salish Secondary Dance Program
  • 3:00 pm – Top Line Vocal Collective
  • 4:00 pm – Sandy Scofield
  • 5:00 pm – RECKLESS: Bryan Adams Tribute
  • 6:00 pm – Welcome Ceremony with Mayor & Council
  • 7:00 pm – Dance Showcase: North Surrey Dance & Higher Ground Dance Company
  • 8:00 pm – Yvonne Kushe
  • 9:00 pm – Ludic


Enchanted Stage

Performances that took place on the Enchanted Stage in the aptly-named Enchanted Village tent were the following:

  • 12:00 pm – Tess Anderson
  • 12:40 pm – Glisha
  • 1:30 pm – Pat Calihou
  • 2:30 pm – Omar Khan
  • 3:30 pm – Ginalina & Holiday Friends
  • 4:30 pm – Christmas Musical
  • 5:20 pm – VOXO
  • 6:15 pm – Taylor-Rae
  • 7:00 pm – Á’a:líya
  • 7:45 pm – YVR Pop Choir
  • 8:30 pm – Merry & Bright: Holiday Singalong
  • 9:15 pm – Post-Modern Connection


In the Market

In the market area at the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival in 2019 there were also half-hour Meet & Greet sessions with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00 pm.

It appears that there were no Meet & Greet sessions in 2021, although there were other things to do in the Holiday Market, such as seeing the lighting displays, exploring the gingerbread village and grabbling some cookies.


Surrey Christmas Market


Festival Activities

In addition to the above mentioned live entertainment, activities at the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival most years include ice-carving demonstrations, miniature train rides, a Christmas market, photos with Santa Claus, road hockey games, a Ferris wheel to ride and crafts and storytelling for children. Also at the event most years are food trucks and a giant snow globe.


Festival Tips and Advice

Below are suggestions on how to make the most of your festival experience.

TIP #1: The concerts with headliner bands are especially popular. Head to the stage area well before their performances if you want a good view of some of the more well-known musicians and their shows.

TIP #2: Take public transit. Parking in the area will be a challenge, Surrey Central SkyTrain Station is right next door, and being a Saturday a single zone transit ticket will get you there from anywhere within Metro Vancouver.


Best Christmas Activities


Other Information

For more information about the Surrey Christmas event in November see the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival website.

For other events going on this time of year in other parts of the Lower Mainland, click any of the following: