No switch-on event, but March Christmas Lights to act as sign of hope during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 11:30 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 25 September 2020

The annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS

The annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS

Archant

No Christmas switch-on event, market or fun fair, but March will still be lit up as a sign of hope for better things to come.

The annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Pictured is Cllr Rob Skoulding, ex-mayor of March and chairman of the town's Christmas Lights committee. Picture: IAN CARTERThe annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Pictured is Cllr Rob Skoulding, ex-mayor of March and chairman of the town's Christmas Lights committee. Picture: IAN CARTER

“Without the lights, I would be upset because we cannot cancel Christmas. We can cancel the fair and things like that, but we have to celebrate Christmas,” Councillor Rob Skoulding, chairman of March Christmas Lights committee, said.

In July, March Town Council announced that their annual switch-on event planned for November 27 would be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and the risk of large public gatherings.

However, the lights will still be switched on in the run-up to the festivities, something that can still benefit those living in the town and further afield.

“It will be a very low-key event. There will be no huge ceremony; it will be done in the background to suit the circumstances,” Clive Lemmon, clerk of March Town Council, said.

The annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Picture: HARRY RUTTER/ARCHANTThe annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Picture: HARRY RUTTER/ARCHANT

“As far as I am aware, it’s the first time it has been cancelled. We’re making a simple statement and trying to protect people.

“What we think is important for the town is to still have the lights. Hopefully it will still attract people into the town centre and attract people visiting the town, but we do not want to risk any people’s health.”

It’s thought St Peter’s Church will still be running their Christmas tree event while the annual Winter Wonderland ran by 20Twenty Productions will not go ahead this year.

Running the usual festive activities is not a risk worth taking for the town council or March Christmas Lights committee, but, like every year, it’s hoped families will visit one of Cambridgeshire’s most colourful Christmas displays.

The annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Picture: HARRY RUTTER/ARCHANTThe annual March Christmas Lights switch-on event alongside the market and fun fair will not take place this year, but the lights will still be switched on in the town centre. Picture: HARRY RUTTER/ARCHANT

MORE: 3…2…1… BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s John Devine switches on March Christmas lights

“We get people driving from miles away to see our lights and the shops decorate their windows, and to see all that is lovely. It is beautiful to see the people looking at the different displays,” Cllr Skoulding said.

“If Covid gets in the town and care homes, it will wipe a lot of people out and we cannot afford to do that. We have got to look after everyone.

“We are known for our Christmas lights and it helps the town economy; that’s why the shops do their windows up to look more festive.

“Hopefully this time next year, everything will be back to normal.”

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