Shine a light on a community hero for Leighton Buzzard lights honour

Christmas Lights, Leighton Buzzard 2017
Christmas Lights, Leighton Buzzard 2017

The chairman of independent traders’ group LB First is encouraging the public to put forward a community hero who deserves the chance to turn on Leighton Buzzard’s Christmas lights this year.

The LBO in conjuction with LB First and Leighton-Linslade Town Council has launched a search for a worthy community champion to flick the switch and Gennaro Borrelli says the decision to use a local ‘VIP’ last year was a popular one.

In recent times festival organisers have sourced a well-known celebrity to launch the three-day event at the Friday night lights switch-on and fireworks display.

But in 2017 a more local approach was adopted when Leighton Buzzard resident, and Britain’s oldest poppy seller, 102-year-old Wally Randall was approached to be guest of honour at the ceremony.

To rapturous applause, Wally joined the carnival princesses as well as Andrew Selous MP to switch on the lights.

Now attention is turning to this year’s event which kicks off on Friday, November 30, 2018.

Gennaro, who owns Gennaro’s Organic Hair Salon in Bridge Street, said: “We are very grateful to the town council for their continued support and to the town council staff who along with our members and volunteers do a great job to make this event so popular, creating a magical atmosphere.

“The decision to have Wally Randall turn on the lights last year proved so popular with the town’s residents that we took the decision to ask local residents to nominate another local champion.”

He added: “In a roundabout way we are also extending the partnership working with the wonderful people of our town by involving them in choosing a local champion along with our trusted LBO, so don’t forget to send in your coupon with your nomination and keep a look out over the following weeks for more updates.

“For many years now local community group LB First, who promote the town centre businesses by encouraging residents to ‘shop local’, have been working in partnership with Leighton-Linslade Town Council and over the years the Christmas Festival has become a huge success and is the only three-day Christmas event in the local area.”

Now it’s time for LBO readers to play their part. We’d like you to send us your nominations. Email detailing your own name/email address/telephone number, who your local VIP is, and why they deserve to turn on the lights. Alternatively send us the form in this week’s LBO.

Once we have collated all the nominations a shortlist will be drawn up next month and readers will have the chance to vote on who should get the honour of turning on the lights.

For more information you can contact Gennaro on 01525 854273 or see the LB First Facebook page.