One-fifth of Leighton-Linslade's Christmas lights won't be ready for VIP switch-on ceremony due to 'circumstances beyond council's control'
But Christmas tree at the bottom of the High Street is set to be lit up, as well as many of the lights surrounding the town centre
Around one-fifth of Leighton-Linslade' s Christmas lights will not be in place in time for the switch-on ceremony this Friday, it has been revealed.
With a new lighting scheme arranged for 2021, the town council admits to being disappointed that due to "circumstances beyond its control" the full array of decorations will not be ready for the Christmas Festival Weekend launch.
The lights will be turned on Friday at 7pm by Holly King-Mand, now widely known as the nation’s favourite English teacher who shot to social media fame after offering free, live and interactive English lessons to children around the world during the pandemic.
But wall-mounted High Street motifs accounting for around 21% of the whole scheme won't be illuminated at that time - the council anticipates the contractor will be in town next week to install them.
"This year, following on from the success of last year, there will also be two light installations where people can take photographs and these will remain in place throughout the festive season."
After a hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Christmas Festival Weekend will kick off on Friday evening with a festive market, food court and live music programme and then the switch-on and fireworks display.
On Saturday, there will be live entertainment and the funfair, with the regular charter market and the Leighton Fun Runners holding their annual Santa Dash. The entertainment continues on Sunday from 11am-3pm along with a festive market.
Town clerk Mark Saccoccio added: “It is of course disappointing that not all of the High Street lights can be in place ready for this weekend’s Christmas Festival. However, we’re so pleased that most lights are in place, that the tree is dressed and most of all, that Covid hasn’t prevented the event going ahead this year.
"Last year was a very muted Christmas for everyone. This year, despite the ongoing supply chain issues and impact on staffing for numerous organisations, we are thrilled that the traditional launch to the Christmas season can go ahead and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone in the town centre this weekend.
"The lighting scheme is new this year and we would particularly like to thank our new contractor for all their work to make this happen, as well as the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade for providing the tree decorations. We hope residents will enjoy our firework display to launch the Festival Weekend and will also enjoy the live music, funfair, market and food court."
> Keep an eye out on our website for a photo gallery from the switch-on event, plus coverage in next Tuesday's LBO.