‘It’s the safest option for everyone’ - town’s Christmas lights switch-on cancelled

North Walsham Christmas lights switch on in 2012. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham Christmas lights switch on in 2012. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A town’s Christmas lights switch-on has been cancelled over concerns as to whether social distancing will still be in place.

North Walsham Christmas Lights Committee confirmed on Friday the lights will still be put up in the town, but a switch-on event with stalls and rides would not happen.

Colin Jeary, who organises the switch-on, said a decision had to be made as stallholders needed a definite answer and time was getting away for planning the event, with the first lights set to be put up in October.

He said: “We had a meeting last night and the committee have taken the decision that there will be no switch-on event this year, obviously we are going to try and get the lights up as most others are, obviously there may not be quite as many, but we want to brighten up everyone’s Christmas.

“We’ve been having people who normally have the stalls every year messaging us asking if it’s going ahead, so we had to give a decision which we could just make. Time is getting away with only six weeks before we put the lights up, so the decision that we’re actually going to have them had to be made.

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“Obviously if social distancing is still going on at the end of November when the switch on was planned for, having over 500 people in North Walsham Market Place is not a good idea and it would be down to the volunteers to maintain social distancing which when we’ve only got 10 volunteers takes a lot of people power which would be needed.”

He added: “It’s the safest option for everyone and hopefully if the whole town can follow the social distancing when they do go on, then we can limit the spread as well.”

The decision follows similar early cancellations in Diss, Cromer and Wells.

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