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Get into the Christmas spirit with virtual lights switch-on in Grimsby

12:02 pm, Friday, 27th November 2020 - 3 years ago

General

One of Grimsby’s most popular yearly events that kicks off the festive season will be going virtual for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Grimsby Christmas lights switch-on event is enjoyed by many each year as people venture out into the town centre wrapped up in their coats ready to see the town centre shine bright, do a spot of late night shopping and enjoy the entertainment put on as we do the big countdown.

This year will have to be a little different due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic and rules on mass gatherings.

As previously announced, while the Christmas lights will still be put up, there will be no public event to mark the occasion.

The Visitor Economy, Services & Retail group (VESR) who organise the event each year made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event in order to ensure the safety of those visiting and taking part in the event.

Although the switch-on will not be the event expected, people will still be able to watch them from the comfort of their own home.

So, get snuggled up in front of the fire, with hot chocolate in hand, and watch the lights shine throughout the town centre as they are switched on ‘virtually’ with a video being aired on DiscoverNEL’s Facebook page at 7pm on Tuesday 1 December.

The video will highlight some of the amazing people that have supported our community since the first lockdown began in March, as well as the weekly Thursday clap for carers, the two 30ft Christmas trees standing tall in Grimsby town centre, and the official switching on of the Christmas lights.

Councillor Callum Procter, portfolio holder for tourism, heritage and culture, said: “It’s with sadness that the Grimsby Christmas lights switch-on had to be cancelled this year, but the good news is that people can still enjoy the turning on of the lights with our virtual switch-on.

“From December, Grimsby town centre will shine bright as the festivities officially begin. We’re delighted that our Christmas trees this year were kindly sponsored by NewLincs Development Limited and have been dedicated as Trees of Love to give people the opportunity to include a message for someone they hold dear while supporting St Andrew’s Hospice.”

Wooden stars, to be put on the town centre Christmas trees, will be available between 11am and 3pm on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 December. People will be able to write a personal message and make a text donation to St Andrew’s Hospice.

Simply collect a star from the gift box by ones of the trees, add your message and pop it back into the post box there. Every hour, on the hour, the Christmas elves from St Andrew’s Hospice will come along and add your message to the tree for everyone to see.

Liz Parry, chair of the VESR group, said: “Despite there being no big, family event this year, we still wanted to mark the start of festivities in the town centre and thank those people in our communities that have supported us during a very difficult year.

“As in previous years, we’re holding our best dressed Christmas shop window competition and brand new for this year, a festive trail featuring over 20 shops. The Rocking Robin Festive Trail will be free for families to enjoy over the coming weeks as they explore the town centre to spot robins in shop windows to then enter a prize draw to win a £100 voucher to spend in a Grimsby town centre business. More will be announced on the trail soon.”

Liz added: “We would urge residents to please shop local wherever possible. Now more than ever, businesses in North East Lincolnshire really need our support just to survive. So, we are asking before purchasing online with the big online retailers, ask yourself if you can buy the item on the high street, from somewhere locally instead. We can all make a difference. Be loyal to local this Christmas. For information and advice on shopping local, please visit the Loyal to Local social media channels @LoyaltoLocalNEL.”

For all the latest information on Christmas in North East Lincolnshire, please visit www.discovernel.co.uk/Christmas

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