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Leicester gets ready to light up for Christmas

Mammoth task of installing the twinkling lights and the colourful garlands that will decorate Leicester city centre this Christmas gets under way this week.

From today (Tuesday 19 October), 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 £50,000 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 Gallowtree Gate – where elegant red and white decorations will span the street – and a fresh look for the Town Hall, where the traditional ‘Christmas Greetings’ motif will be joined by some colourful new LED Christmas trees.

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.

Next month, at the Clock Tower, a 50ft Christmas tree will be carefully lowered into place and decorated with blue, gold and white baubles, while the city’s traditional nativity scene and a festive tableau scene – featuring a new augmented reality experience for youngsters – will be installed in Town Hall Square.

To ensure crowds are spread out around the city centre, there will be no stage programme on Humberstone Gate when the lights are switched on this year. Instead, a countdown – played out on speakers at 6.30pm on Thursday 18 November – will herald the switch-on of Leicester’s Christmas lights.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “The city council has updated its stock of festive decorations again this year and our lighting team will be working hard to make sure that Leicester, once again, looks magical throughout the festive season.

“I’m delighted that our celebrations will return to Leicester’s streets this Christmas, with just a few changes to make sure that people can join in safely.

“I hope that our festive lights will help put everyone in the mood for a very happy Christmas.”

The council’s lighting team will be installing the decorations early in the morning and at weekends to minimise inconvenience to road users.

Decorating the city – including Town Hall Square and around 20 city centre streets – will take four weeks to complete.

Low energy LED bulbs are used in all of Leicester’s decorations.

A full programme of events taking place in Leicester this Christmas, including the return of the Jubilee Square ice rink, will be published soon.


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