Fundraising to light up the town
A fundraising campaign has been launched to replace Garstang's Christmas lights.
Business leaders say the current town centre festive lights are ten years old and need to be renewed.
The replacements will be rented rather than owned - but that comes at a cost of Â£11,000 plus.
A new Christmas Lights Committee, which includes members of Independent Garstang Traders (the Chamber of Commerce), Garstang town councillors and Garstang Town Trust, plus members of the public, has been set up to oversee the changes.
Committee spokesman and local jeweller Damian Carr said the Chamber/IGT had decided it was time for a change: “This year we looked at new providers for the lights as costs were rising.
“We owned the previous lights. Our festoon is 10 years old and has got to the point of replacement being necessary.”
This year the lights, all LED, will be hired from Burnley firm Lite.
Damian said: “They have come up with a new scheme which is quite exciting for the town. It will be different this year. There will be an icicle style of light and 20 per cent of the lights twinkle so there should be movement in the display which will create quite a nice effect down the streets and weinds.”
The lights will be placed on High Street, Church Street, Bridge Street, Thomas’s Weind, Stoops Hall Weind and Park Hill Road.
In future years it is hoped to extend the lights further around the town.
The committee now hopes to raise around Â£5,500 towards the cost of the lights.
Generous donations are also provided by organisations including borough and town councils and the Town Trust and Damian said it is hoped businesses will also provide a boost to the fund.
Tonight Damian was due to outline plans for the lights and possible subjects for street banner display and tree decoration to local business owners.
He said: “It’s to explain the history and where we’re going to now... How the Chamber of Trade, Town Council, Town Trust and members of the public organise the lights now.”
Damian, a keen advocate of the town’s lights, said: “They light up the town and make it look jolly in the darkest time of the year. It raises your spirit. It helps all parts of the community.”
The next fund raiser is a special gin and cocktail evening on August 10 organised by Luke Pollard of local business Printmob and his wife Kate, who teaches at a Longridge school, in association with supermarket chain Booths.
Kate said: “We’re trying to raise as much as possible.”
There will be a chance to meet the brewer from Brindle Distillery which makes Cuckoo Gin and to sample the company’s creations.
The event, at Booths Cafe in Cherestanc Square, also includes the opportunity to mix and make your own cocktails and enjoy other drinks available - all included in the ticket price.
Nibbles and hot snacks will be served and the event, from 7pm to 9pm, will be hosted by the Garstang Christmas Lights team and Independent Garstang Traders in conjunction with Booths.
Tickets for over 18s cost Â£15 from Booths and Printmob.
Look out for details of other fund-raisers including a quiz night.
The town, with its annual Victorian Christmas Festival and seasonal lights display, is a popular location for Christmas shopping and the lights switch-on will be on Monday, November 26.
• If you would like to help with fundraising or to donate you can contact Damian c/o Carrs Jewellers, High Street, Garstang.