Nottinghamshire councils being forced to cancel Christmas lights switch-on events because of Covid-19 threat

The annual festive tradition of heading into town for the Christmas lights switch-on could be in jeopardy this year, as some council-run events across Nottinghamshire are already cancelled, and others are facing a similar threat.

By Kit Sandeman
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 5:38 pm

Events in Broxtowe and Bassetlaw have already been cancelled while decisions are still be taken about events in Mansfield and Ashfield.

A spokeswoman for Broxtowe Borough Council said: “Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings, Broxtowe Borough Council has taken the difficult decision to cancel the Christmas lights switch on events that were due to take place later this year.

“Christmas lights will still be on display to decorate the town centres over the festive period but no official switch on events or ceremonies will take place.

Several council-run Christmas lights switch-on events are either under threat or already cancelled in Nottinghamshire this year

“The decision was taken in conjunction with Liberty Leisure Ltd, who run the events on behalf of the council.”

Coun Milan Radulovic, council leader, added: “We know that this will be disappointing for our residents and businesses but with the current uncertainty about the pandemic over the coming months, it is the right thing to do to make sure we can keep people in Broxtowe safe.

“Christmas is an important time for businesses so we will be working with them to encourage people to shop local and shop safely over the festive period as part of our recovery plans.

“We hope to have these fantastic events return to the Borough as part of events programme in 2021.”

The decision to cancel this year’s events in Broxtowe follows on from the one taken about events Bassetlaw last month.

In a statement, Retford and Worksop Business Forums and North Notts Business Improvement District (which organises the Christmas light switch-ons with support from Bassetlaw District Council), said: “We took the decision back in August that the Christmas light switch on events in Worksop and Retford will be not taking place this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“As it will not be possible to hold the usual stage performances and lights switch-on ceremonies, we wanted to be able to make the decision so that all of the schools and volunteers who normally take part in this event are able to reschedule their activities in good time.

“The Christmas trees will be installed and there will be the usual Christmas lights, but there will be no special switch-on events.”

“We are currently working together with Bassetlaw District Council’s health and safety team in planning to deliver Christmas markets on Saturday, November 28 in Worksop) and Sunday, November 29 in Retford.

"These will be subject to ongoing review and may be cancelled at short notice.”

A decision over switch-on events in Ashfield is expected from Ashfield District Council this week, while no decision has yet been made about events in Mansfield but Mansfield District Council is expected to publish more information about Christmas in the town next week.

Meanwhile in Nottingham itself, no decision has yet been made about whether the annual Winter Wonderland will go ahead.

Some alternative events have been planned in the county, such as Christmas at Wollaton, which organisers say will see the park ‘transformed’ into an enchanting light spectacle.

There will be staggered entry times to the event and pre-booking will be required.

Click here for details.