Kate Humble to switch on Hay Christmas Lights
Writer, broadcaster and smallholder Kate Humble will switch-on Hay-on-Wye’s Christmas Lights next month as part of her Hay Festival Winter Weekend appearance on Friday 23 November.

The free switch-on event will take place between 5pm and 7pm in The Cheese Market, accompanied by carol singing and readings to kick off the festival weekend in good spirits.

Families are invited to create their own colourful Christmas lanterns in Hay Public Library from 3.30pm, before joining the Hay Festival Winter Weekend procession at 5.30pm from the Library to the Market Square, led by Kate.

Kate is one of the UK’s best-known TV presenters. She started her television career as a researcher, later presenting programmes such as Animal Park, Springwatch and Autumnwatch, Lambing Live, Living with Nomads, Extreme Wives and Back to the Land.

Her new book, Thinking on my Feet, is an ode to the life-changing magic of the simple act of walking. Kate will be talking about the book on the Hay Festival Winter Weekend stage immediately following the lights switch-on. Her event is at 7pm in the Festival Tent.

Kate Humble said: “I was beautifully looked after when I limped into Hay with very bad blisters on my last trip, so by way of thanks, I am honoured and delighted to be switching on the Christmas lights this year!”

Andrew Williams, chair of Hay Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is such an honour to have Kate Humble with us for the switching on of the Christmas lights. While Hay has ardent admirers across the globe, at heart we are a small, rural community, and we know that Kate will feel completely at home here. We’re aiming to put on a great evening to welcome her, with all the magic of our local choirs, mince pies and mulled wine, and a fantastic cross-section of local businesses offering their seasonal wares. Who knows, maybe even Father Christmas himself will make an appearance…”

Taking place 22-25 November 2018, Hay Festival Winter Weekend blends politics and global affairs with the finest fiction, nature writing, comedy, music and workshops for all ages. The festival offers four days of family fun within the stunning surrounds of the town’s independent bookshops, cafés and markets, and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Now in its 19th year, the 2018 programme is the most ambitious yet, building on the success of last year’s record-breaking edition and incorporating a new 500-seater marquee in the Cattle Market and venues across the town, including the new Hay Primary School Hall, St Mary’s Church and Richard Booth’s Bookshop.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend tickets are on sale now – book online at hayfestival.org or call 01497 822 629.