Preston city centre will be lit up by a special virtual Switch On of its Christmas lights this year, Preston Business Improvement District (BID) have confirmed.Advertisement
The Virtual Christmas Lights Switch On will take place on Saturday 21 November with people invited to enjoy live performances, from the safety of their homes, before the all-important count down.
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BID’s Mark Whittle said the city’s businesses needed local people to support their high streets safely for their annual festive shopping trips.
He said: “This year has been challenging for everyone for so many reasons and we did not want Preston to have to sacrifice marking this event, which many people look forward to.
“It is going to be a scaled down affair this year, for obvious reasons, and hosted online, however, we hope people will join us for a look back at some great switch on performances, new performances, and some very special Christmas messages.”
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Jamie Griffiths, Content Director for Smooth Radio North West, the virtual switch on partners said: “Preston’s switch on is a highlight for us, and whilst this year’s event will be different, we hope that people will get themselves a hot chocolate, settle down in front of their Smart TV, laptop or smart phone and help us all get Christmas underway in Preston.”
The celebration will be sponsored by Walker & Williams Boutique Hotels, which operates The No. 10 and Winckley Square hotels in the city centre, supported by Smooth Radio North West and the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.
Proprietor of Walker & Williams, Max Walker Williams said: “We’re extremely proud to support Preston’s virtual Christmas lights switch on, although this year has been challenging, it’s important that, as a family, we can enjoy watching the switch on from the comfort of our own homes.
“We understand that a virtual light switch on is not ideal but the only safe alternative is to do nothing and we simply aren’t letting COVID win.”
The virtual ceremony will conclude with the countdown and switch on performed by the winners of the BID’s ‘Pride of Preston’ competition, Justine Brooks and Marcus Wright.
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The competition sought out community heroes from across the city for their voluntary contributions during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Justine has raised a considerable amount of money for FareShare to help feed people in need in her local community in Preston.
She will be joined by Marcus who has staged lots of free, online, exercise classes, whatever the weather, to boost peoples mental and physical health.
Organisers have promised some special treats for viewers, which include switch on sets from stars Heather Small and The Real Thing, plus new interactive songs and dances for children, unique performances from local musicians, special messages from famous faces and Father Christmas.
The Preston Christmas lighting scheme will see the city’s main shopping district, including Fishergate and Friargate, lit up as part of a scheme financed by the BID, which is paid for by contributions from city centre traders.
To enjoy the lights switch on show, visit PrestonSwitchOn.co.uk from 7pm on Saturday 21 November.
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Will you be enjoying the online light switch on? Let us know in the comments below