The mammoth task of installing the twinkling lights and the colourful garlands that will decorate Leicester city centre this Christmas gets under way this weekend.
On Sunday (18 October), contractors working for the city council will start putting up the decorations that cross the city’s main shopping streets and installing the first of the 16,000 lamps that will light up Leicester in the run-up to Christmas.
This year the council has spent £38,000 updating the city’s stock of decorations and replacing worn-out fixtures and fittings.
The extra funding means there will be a brand new look for Horsefair Street and Humberstone Gate this year, with both streets dressed with new decorative spans.
In Green Dragon Square at Leicester Market, illuminated garlands will be strung between the square’s lamp-columns, while the trees in the square will be lit up with pea-lights.
At the Clock Tower, a 50ft Christmas tree will be carefully lowered into place and decorated with warm white lights and hundreds of colourful baubles, while the city’s traditional nativity scene and a tableau depicting the Tales of Narnia will be installed in Town Hall Square.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “The city council has updated its stock of festive decorations again this year, with new lights for Horsefair Street and Humberstone Gate.
“Although it’s going to be a very different Christmas for all of us this year, our lighting team and contractors will be working hard to make sure that Leicester looks magical throughout the festive season.”
Contractors working for the council will be installing the decorations early in the morning and at weekends to minimise inconvenience to road users. They will start on Church Gate early in the morning on Sunday (18 October).
Decorating the city – including Town Hall Square and around 20 city centre streets – will take four weeks to complete.
Because of restrictions on gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there will be no event to switch on the Christmas lights this year.
Instead, the lights will simply be switched on during the run-up to Christmas and will remain on until the new year.