Mansfield's big Christmas lights switch-on cancelled for second year in fears over covid spike
Mansfield’s big Christmas lights switch-on will not take place again for another year – over concerns of another covid spike as the weather gets colder.
Instead, Mansfield District Council is opting for a series of smaller, lower-key events around the area as part of a bid to deter mass gatherings.
The authority took the decision in April that, in the light of the likely ongoing COVID-19 situation, instead of a big Christmas lights switch-on event, it would be safer to run a variety of reduced capacity attractions.
These will include a free family event called the Mansfield Winter Festival in Titchfield Park in December, various free town centre entertainments and a tour of a giant inflatable snow globe around neighbourhoods in the district.
The council will also lead a community gift appeal to support vulnerable local people and is a financial partner in Mansfield BID’s Christmas Market.
There will be a small ceremony in the Market Place, led by Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams, on Saturday, November 27, to open the Christmas in Mansfield campaign.He will also be launching a community Christmas gift appeal which will run until mid-December.
He said: "Although we could not have been sure back in April how the land would lay regarding Covid in November and December, it was a good call to cancel the Big Switch-On and to arrange alternative events that would not involve squashing thousands of people into the Market Place.
"Our aim for the Christmas in Mansfield campaign this year is to put a focus on the community - to support vulnerable people who may have been in real difficulty due to the pandemic.
"We want to bring Christmas cheer to boost morale and encourage neighbourly togetherness as well as to improve health and well-being in the district."
One of the main Christmas in Mansfield events will be the Winter Festival in Titchfield Park on Saturday, December 18, with Christmas movies, a children’s party and a Santa meet-and-greet in a heated marquee.
The marquee events will be ticketed sessions for up to 750 people at a time. Tickets would be free though people will be encouraged to make a donation to a community appeal.
Early booking is being recommended as these tickets are expected to be quickly fully allocated. Details of where and how to book will be released soon.
Outside in the park there will be a snow machine, food vendors and walkabout entertainment for all to enjoy.In the town centre the main event will be the I love Mansfield Christmas Market, delivered by Mansfield BID and Mansfield District Council, from November 27 until December 22.
There will be 12 chalets along West Gate selling the perfect Christmas gifts such as candles, jewellery, toys, and ornaments. There will be a special wine bar this year, too, serving all sorts of festive tipples.
Sue Rogers, from Mansfield BID, said: "Christmas is coming back to Mansfield town centre and we're delighted to be putting together a fabulous market. We would urge Mansfield people to really support the events and the town's businesses in the run-up to Christmas."