Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switch-on aims to avoid large crowds

Organisers have said there will be a new look at this years Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights turn on

Organisers have said there will be a new look at this years Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights turn on - Credit: Allegro Creative Agency/Our Bury St Edmunds

People attending the Christmas lights switch on in Bury St Edmunds will see a "new look" this year after organisers decided not to have a stage at the event.

The decision is to ensure people are able to practice social distancing as they watch the lights being illuminated on Thursday, November 18. 

There will, however, still be the usual food and drink stalls at the annual Christmas charity market as well as street entertainment, including stilt walkers, a magician, Victorian carol singers and the Salvation Army band playing Christmas music.

Chief Executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Mark Cordell said: “In the past there has been great excitement as a crowd has gathered at the stage for the countdown to the switch on.

"This year we appreciate that people may not want to crowd together – in fact many are likely to want to do the exact opposite.

Mark Cordell, CEO at ourburystedmunds BID. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mark Cordell, CEO at ourburystedmunds BID. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

"Therefore we’ve taken the difficult decision not to have a stage, which encourages crowds to stand in front of it watching the different performances and the countdown to the Switch On.

“After careful consideration about the best way to give everyone the opportunity to stay as safe as possible without missing anything, we’ve decided that the lights will be on as the event opens and as darkness starts to fall visitors will be able to wander around the town to see the Christmas tree, our brand-new free-standing lights, which will be on display for the first time and all the other much loved illuminations.

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"We know how disappointing it was not to have a Christmas Lights Event at all last year so I hope this will encourage people to come back into town, meet up with friends or family and share some Christmas cheer.”

Admission to the Christmas charity market and lights turn on is free with the event running from 3pm to 8pm. 

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