Town’s Christmas lights cancelled because of public safety worries

PUBLISHED: 07:35 12 September 2020

Santa and his elves at the Felixstowe Christmas lights switch on Picture: LIONS CLUB OF FELIXSTOWE

Santa and his elves at the Felixstowe Christmas lights switch on Picture: LIONS CLUB OF FELIXSTOWE


Felixstowe’s festive fun has been cancelled – because of the virus pandemic.

The lights switch on always draws big crowds Picture: ANDREW HENDRYThe lights switch on always draws big crowds Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

The resort’s big Christmas lights switch-on will not happen this year because organisers are worried that social distancing will not be possible at the event, which attracts thousands of people from across the region.

The culmination of the day, which includes an afternoon of yuletide entertainment, Santa and his Elves and Rudolph parading through the town and then meeting families in the grotto, plus a food and gift market and charity stalls, is the gathering for communal carol singing and the switch-on.

However the lights themselves will still be installed in advance of the festive season.

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Felixstowe Lions Club organise the event with support from Felixstowe Town Council.

Lions president Richard Woolnough, said: “We are sorry to announce that we cannot hold our normal switch-on of the Christmas lights this year as the safety of the crowd is paramount and it is very unlikely that Government guidelines will be so relaxed as to allow thousands to gather together by the end of November.

“So, our stage and entertainment scheduled for November 29 on the Triangle in Felixstowe will not take place. However, we have worked for many weeks to get the Christmas Lights ready and we have every intention of erecting the whole display. We have invited the mayor to switch them on on behalf of the town, but the date and time will not be advertised. It is hoped it will be sooner than our normal end of November date if the weather allows us to complete installing the lights to schedule.

“None of us would have wanted this dreadful pandemic but this town has worked amazingly well together, and it has brought us all closer together as a great team.”

The Mayor of Felixstowe, Mark Jepson said: “Whilst the cancellation of the switch on will not come as a surprise to anyone – given the huge crowds this brilliant festival pulls in – it is a shame that yet another of our much-loved annual events won’t be happening in 2020. However, the display itself will still bring great Christmas cheer to the town, thanks to the determined efforts of the Lions Club of Felixstowe whose members do such a great job designing, installing, maintaining and homing the lights year-after-year.”

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