Lighting up Garstang for Christmas

Christmas has come to Garstang with an online switch-on ceremony.

By Fiona Finch
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 10:22 am
Mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster prepares to switch on the Garstang Christmas lights
(photo Michael Coleran)
Mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster prepares to switch on the Garstang Christmas lights (photo Michael Coleran)

The annual lights switch-on on Monday evening proved a solitary event for mayor town Councillor Elizabeth Webster who presided over the socially distanced switch-on, which was streamed live on Facebook from the Market Cross.

Nevertheless it was an opportunity to showcase the town and thank all who had contributed to this year's Christmas Lights fund.

Afterwards Coun Webster said: "A very big well done to the lights team who have worked extremely hard to make sure the lights shine as bright as ever this Christmas after what has been a particularly difficult year. I thank everyone who has donated to the lights fund, members of the public, local businesses and local councils. It is very much appreciated. I hope the festive lights encourage shoppers to the town. They look absolutely stunning."

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The 2020 Christmas lights shine brightly in Garstang (Photo: Michael Coleran)

This year Garstang Town Council contributed £3000 to the £12,000 Christmas lights show and Coun Webster also donated her mayoral allowance of £508 to the lights fund.

Earlier in the day the traditional blessing of the crib, conducted this year by Father Geoffrey Steel from St Mary and St Michael's RC church, was pre-recorded. The blessing was shown online prior to the lights countdown.

Damian Carr, Chair of the Christmas Lights Group, had made two appeals for donations from the Town Council after the pandemic hit fund-raising activities. He had told them: "This year more than ever, we need the dark days of November and December to be lit up by Christmas lights and help bring cheer to Garstang over the Festive period.

"At this time of year, we would normally be busy carrying out our usual fundraising activities and collecting from businesses to cover the £6,000 shortfall that is needed every year towards the total £12,000 cost of the lights ... In these unprecedented times, we truly believe that the enjoyment, comfort and festive feel that the Christmas lights bring to Garstang and our community is needed in 2020 more than ever before. "

Merry Christmas from Garstang (photo: Richard Dyer)

A special GoFundMe page has been set up to help finance the lights show which can be accessed here or via the Garstang Christmas Lights Facebook page.

Damian added: "People have been so generous this year. It's so lovely. The lights look stunning. They lift the spirits. The mayor thanked everybody from the Lions to Cherestanc WI to the local parish councils. Many businesses, although they have had difficulties this year, have given generously. Everyone has been brilliant. We've still got the GoFundMe page set up .Whatever we do raise will help for next year as well. Ultimately we hope to complete (lights along) Park Hill Road by the Wheatsheaf."

* Due to the pandemic Coun Webster has a second year in office. Her mayoral charities for 2020/21 are Garstang Christmas Lights and Garstang Millennium Green.

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