Ipswich: What happened to festive switch-on?

WHAT has happened to Christmas in Ipswich?

I wandered through the town after work on Thursday and some of the shops were open and the Christmas lights were on.

But unlike previous years there has been no big switch-on. There’s nothing to mark the fact that the Christmas season is coming to town.

It all used to be so different with the arrival of Santa to the Co-op department store, a major switch-on at the Cornhill, and all kinds of fun to show that the festive season is here.

I know financial times are tough – but other towns and cities seem to manage to do something. Bury St Edmunds had a wonderful lights switch-on a couple of days ago.

From what I gather, Ipswich Central was unable to organise a big event for the switch-on because it was tied up with the vote on whether it should continue to run the town centre – a vote it won decisively.

And there is apparently a “Christmas Shopping event” a week tomorrow – but it’s not a big light switch-on and it is difficult to escape the feeling that the festive season has arrived in Ipswich with a whimper rather than a bang.

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Ipswich has some great shopping to offer at this time of the year, but when everywhere else nearby is blowing its own trumpet (Colchester’s lights go on this afternoon) it needs to shout to make its voice heard.

Let’s hope that when Christmas comes around next year we make a real song and dance about the festive season!