It will all be occurrin’ in Barry this Christmas, with Gavin & Stacey star Ruth Jones set to switch on the town’s festive lights.
Nessa Shanessa Jenkins will return to the seaside town for the annual Christmas lights ceremony in King Square, Holton Road, on November 23, ahead of the hotly awaited Christmas special of the much-loved show. The switch-on will mark the end of a two-day festive market in Barry on Friday, November 22 and Saturday 23, and will be followed by a free open air showing of Home Alone in Barry’s Central Park.
Barry was well and truly put on the map when Gavin & Stacey, a heartwarming sitcom about the Shipman and West families written by Jones and co-star James Corden, first aired in 2007. The town has welcomed visitors from all over the world and is now receiving a fresh wave of interest after scenes from the Christmas special were filmed on location over the summer.
Principle tourism officer Nia Hollins said: “We’re so excited to be joined by the legendary ‘Nessa’ herself as she returns to her hometown of Barry to kick off the Christmas festivities this year. The Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special will be watched by millions on Christmas Day, so to welcome Nessa back to Barry on this festive occasion is very special indeed.
“The world has embraced Barry and its character residents since it first hit our screens in 2007. When the announcement came that this year would bring a Christmas special, we’ve been inundated with fans from far and wide wanting to come and visit. A huge thanks to Ruth Jones for joining us on this special occasion.”
‘Nessa’ will switch on the lights as part of the Barry Christmas Weekender, which returns after a successful inaugural event in 2018. In addition to the festive market in Holton Road, there will be live music, street entertainment and a visit by Santa and his elves. A second Christmas lights ceremony will also take place in Barry High Street on Friday, November 29.
The Barry Christmas Weekender is one of a series of festive markets being held throughout the Vale of Glamorgan, with retailers and crafters also setting up stall in Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penarth. The Christmas markets are always popular with residents and visitors looking for thoughtful, quality gifts a little out of the ordinary, while the towns’ independent shops and boutiques offer a friendlier and more personalised alternative to larger shopping malls.
‘Nessa’ will appear at King Square on November 23 at 6pm. Large crowds are expected, with visitors asked to plan their journey in advance and use public transport where possible.