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Christmas lights switch-ons in two north Norfolk towns cancelled for 2020

PUBLISHED: 08:02 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:08 06 August 2020

Father Christmas arriving to celebrate a previous Wells Christmas Tide event. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Father Christmas arriving to celebrate a previous Wells Christmas Tide event. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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The traditional Christmas lights switch-ons in at least two north Norfolk towns have been cancelled for this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Olly Day and fellow Cromer Pier Show stars on stage for last year's Cromer Christmas lights countdown outside the parish church.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLOlly Day and fellow Cromer Pier Show stars on stage for last year's Cromer Christmas lights countdown outside the parish church. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

But while Cromer will not have a switch-on, it will still have a celebratory feel this festive season, with volunteers determined to put up at least some of the Christmas lights which normally decorate the streets in late November and December.

The Christmas Tide event in Wells-next-the-Sea - where Father Christmas traditionally arrives by boat - has also been cancelled, but organisers are planning to put up their lights and Christmas trees on the Quay, and are determined to come back stronger next year.

Cromer Town Council organises Christmas events including a tree festival, grotto and lights switch-on, while the Christmas lights are put up by a separate group of volunteers each year.

The switch-on draws thousands of people onto the streets to enjoy live music and entertainment, food and drink stalls and the countdown to the moment the lights are first switched on by a special guest. Tim Adams, Cromer town councillor and lights volunteer, said: “The Christmas events organised by the town council are unfortunately not going ahead.

“It is the intention of the Christmas lights volunteers to put up some of the lights.

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“We are not promising to put everything up, but we’re hoping to have a nice display.”

Mel Catton, from Wells Christmas Tide, said: “We appreciate lots of people will be disappointed at this news, but hope everyone understands why we had to make a decision now in order to limit the inconvenience caused to visitors, businesses, stallholders and entertainment acts.

“As a result, we aim to ensure that Wells Christmas Tide 2021 is the biggest and best event yet, and can announce that this will take place on Saturday, December 4, 2021.”

It is not yet clear what will be happening with north Norfolk’s other main Christmas lights switch-on events.

Aylsham’s town clerk Sue Lake said even if its switch-on had to be scaled down, the town would still have its Christmas lights display.

North Walsham’s committee are having a meeting on the evening of August 6 to discuss the matter, and no decision has been made by the Holt Christmas lights committee or Sheringham Carnival committee, which organises the lights there.


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