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Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice

Taunton’s Christmas lights switch-on goes virtual

18 November 2020 : Council news, Community, Business

SWT and its partners have been busy preparing the town to bring some festive cheer despite the second round of national restrictions.
An array of decorative lights have now been installed throughout the town centre, along with the largest Christmas tree the town has seen to date, standing at approximately 35 foot high outside the iconic Market House in the centre of Fore Street.
Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm has, very generously, been donating the town’s annual Christmas tree for the last 12 years and will be donating further trees to the towns of Wellington and Wiveliscombe.
Taunton’s Christmas tree arrived this week, courtesy of Wheelers of Bridgwater.  Following joint installation by the donor and SWT’s Localities team, the tree was decorated with wraparound lights, and red, green and gold baubles, donated by Monkton Elm Garden Centre.  A safety fencing enclosure has been provided by Westwood Fencing.
Two smaller Christmas trees, which have been similarly decorated, have also been erected in North Street using a £500 festive offer donated by Taunton Farmers Market.
Accompanying the Christmas tree lights, cross-street canopy lights have also been installed on North Street, High Street and East Street, as well as a festive light display, which will be projected onto the Market House providing an illuminated backdrop to the main tree.
In a change to the usual format, the lights will be switched on remotely by the Mayor of Taunton, Councillor Fran Smith, via video link from her home at 6pm on Sunday, 22 November.
To stay COVID-safe, the Council is encouraging residents to follow its Facebook page @SWTCouncil to watch the switch-on in real-time from the comfort of their own homes.
The switch-on will be followed by a public address from the Mayor and a further switch-on of Christmas lights by the high street shops.  Pending government guidance, a craft market has been planned from 2 December.
Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Economic Development at SWT, said: “Regrettably, the annual Winterfest and ice rink is not possible this year due to the current restrictions, however, we’re pleased to be able to mark the start of the festive season by holding a virtual switch-on event instead.
“We hope that our residents and businesses will join us in watching our live switch-on by following our Facebook page.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our donors for the support they’ve provided in helping us to arrange this event.”
If any businesses would like to support the Christmas lights switch-on events in future years, please email events@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk.