Christmas light switch-on events go virtual

Residents of Warwick district will be invited to switch on their Christmas lights at home this year in tandem with the town centres, in what will be the first ever district-wide virtual switch-on event.

With restrictions still in place regarding events and large gatherings, and with the potential for further restrictions in the winter months, Warwick District Council has agreed with the relevant Town Councils to cancel this year’s light switch-on events in Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash.

The measures required to ensure that the events would be COVID safe with adequate social distancing in place could not guarantee the atmosphere that the switch-ons usually provide.

The town centres will still be resplendent with festive lights and displays, and the Council are currently working with businesses and the Town Councils to organise a district-wide Big Community Light Switch On for late November.

The virtual event will allow residents to stream the town centre lights being switched on via social media, whilst lighting up their own homes and taking part in various competitions and stay-at-home party games.

Leader of Warwick District Council, Councillor Andrew Day said: “We know that this news will be disappointing for many as these events are steeped in tradition for our town centres, but the safety of our residents is paramount, and as we approach the winter season we simply cannot let our guard down when it comes to COVID.

“But that’s not to say that we can’t celebrate the magic of Christmas and support our businesses throughout this busy season. The lights will be up and the shops will be open, so though we can’t come together to celebrate, there will be ample opportunity for us to visit the shops we know and love this Christmas.

“We saw very quickly at the start of the pandemic how the community came together to support each other, and we hope to see that reflected with the Big Community Light Switch On, where neighbours can virtually get their heads together and plan a festive switch-on to light up their streets.”

Full details of the virtual events will be advertised in due course.