Christmas events cancelled but Windsor’s lights still go on

All outdoor public Christmas celebrations have been cancelled across the Royal Borough – as the pandemic casts a deadly pall over Windsor and its surrounding towns and villages.

But this week Paul Roach, the Windsor, Eton and Ascot town manager promised disappointed residents and potential visitors that at least the streets would be lit up.

The lavish Christmas lights that brighten the town and laser display on the castle will all be on display in Windsor, as will the decorations and lights Maidenhead, Eton, Eton Wick, Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale.

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What will be missing will be the usual switching on ceremonies that draw thousands and bring rousing cheers every November.

Mr Roach said the decision had been taken some time ago, explaining: “The lights switch on in Windsor draws 6,000 people and with that number of people, expecting them to stay in their ‘social bubbles’ simply is not practical.”

There will be no visit by Santa travelling on his sleigh through the town – another popular event always looked forward to in Windsor.

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Also cancelled is the annual carol singing that regularly draws 1,000 to sing in front of the Christmas tree in the shadow of Windsor Castle.

Mr Roach admitted to an enormous feeling of disappointment, saying: “These events are also important because of the footfall they bring and the benefit to our shops.

“But we have put a lot of care into making the town safe for people to come to and we cannot throw all that away with any one big event – we can’t put ourselves in that position.”

But he said plans were being made to find alternative ways of attracting people to come to the town – including online events that were still being discussed.

Most villages in the Royal Borough have also announced they will not have public Christmas events with all expected to come to the same conclusion.

Visit the My Royal Borough media page for details as they are agreed.

Mr Roach said: “I’m sure businesses will be creative and come up with ideas of their own own social media.”

He said the Christmas lights might be turned on earlier than usual.

 

UPDATE

A spokesman for Slough Borough Council said: “Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 we have decided it would be impossible to ensure social distancing and health protection at a Christmas lights switch on event.

However we all love the Christmas season and we will still be spreading Christmas cheer by placing the actual lights on lampposts and in trees on the High Street, Chalvey Road east and west, Farnham Road and at Harrow Market in Langley as we always do.

And we have already booked a massive 40ft Christmas tree for the town square which will be festooned with more than 8,000 lights.

We hope that even without the switch on event we can still bring Christmas magic and light to the town.”

 

 

Royal Borough Observer | News WIndsor