Hinckley’s town centre Christmas lights switched on

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 20 November 2020

HINCKLEY’S Christmas lights have officially been turned on in the town centre this evening. Santa Claus himself even addressed families in a pre-recorded ‘virtual light switch-on’ and Christmas countdown video.

The Christmas lights switched on in town (Supplied by Martin Bowie to The Hinckley Free Press)

The announcement that the lights had been switched on was made by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council at 6pm this evening on their official social media platforms.

To further get Hinckleyans into the Christmas spirit this holiday season, the Council lit up Market Place by turning on the Christmas Tree lights.

Unlike previous years, the town’s annual Christmas light switch-on, Tin Hat Fair, and fireworks display event did not go ahead as Hinckley are under national lockdown restrictions until Wednesday 2 December this year.

A Christmas countdown video and ‘virtual light switch on’ was posted to accompany the post on Facebook, where Santa Claus, Mayor Lynda Hodgkins, and children from a nearby primary school on Station Road helped countdown to the lights being switched on.

The video featured Santa Claus wishing viewers a ‘wonderful safe Christmas and a happy new year’.

‘Santa Claus’ even encouraged families to hold their own light switch-on events from home in the video.

He said: “Although we can’t all be together at the start of this festive season, perhaps you can all have your own individual light switch-on’s at home with your families, and when I come round on Christmas Eve I can come round and see all the wondrous jobs you’ve made of them all!”.

The video is available to watch in full on the Borough Council’s official Facebook page. The Hinckley Free Press have created a short link to the video, which you can watch by clicking here.

Speaking to The Hinckley Free Press, Hinckley Councillor for the De Montfort Ward, Michael Mullaney, said: “Despite the restrictions due to COVID-19 it’s good to see we can still have a great display of Christmas lights in the town, to at least have a bit of normality during these difficult times.

“Hopefully the lights will bring some cheer to people in Hinckley at this time and show that Christmas still carries on.”

Councillor Ann Pendlebury, who represents Clarendon Ward, said: “I drove past the Christmas town decorations tonight and saw the lights on reminding me of the switch on last year by the incredible Katherine of Isla Stones who so ably demonstrates strength in adversity, it made me smile.

“This year’s Christmas will be so very different for everyone of Hinckley and Bosworth and the rest of the UK, with so many suffering loss not only of those they care for.

“However I know Hinckley works as a great community who support each other through difficult times and will face this Christmas with strength supporting each other, in the hope that next year we can return to the amazing atmosphere that our Christmas lights switch on does so well.”

Hinckley Campaigner, Jan Kirby, said: “I’m glad the lights are switched on now to give us all a bit of cheer. It’s a shame that we couldn’t have all the usual festivities, but we all have to stay safe.

“I suggest we drive or walk around to see the lights safely. It’s sad for all the businesses and charities that benefit from our annual light switch on. Let’s all shop local and support them all.”

Hinckley resident, Martin Bowie, who passed through the town centre to take the following photographs of the lights, said: “The light switch on is a major event for Hinckley. Though we will all miss this year’s event, more so the businesses that get that boost of trade.

“I feel the Council has made the right call to cancel the event for the safety of us all and it’s great to still see the lights switched on to bring some festive cheer to what has been quite an unusual year. I’m hopeful that next year’s event will be back to normal and as big as ever.”

The lights in The Borough (Supplied by Martin Bowie to The Hinckley Free Press)
The lights on Hinckley’s busy Regent Street (Supplied by Martin Bowie to The Hinckley Free Press)
The lights on the Christmas tree (Supplied by Martin Bowie to The Hinckley Free Press)

The Christmas lights were first installed in the town centre back on 14 October, so that the Council’s contractors could test the lights before their deadline of 13 November.

The town’s Christmas Tree was first installed in Market Place at approximately 7am in the morning back on Friday 6 November by workers and contractors for the Borough Council.

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