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How you can watch virtual Christmas lights switch-ons in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 12:15 19 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 19 November 2020

The festive season officially gets underway on the Ipswich Cornhill with the switching on of its Christmas lights today.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The festive season officially gets underway on the Ipswich Cornhill with the switching on of its Christmas lights today. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Christmas lights switch-ons have been forced to move online like most events in 2020 – so where and when can you watch them in Suffolk?

Hundreds of people came to watch the annual Christmas lights switch in Ipswich last eyar, but Covid restrictions have cancelled this year's event.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people came to watch the annual Christmas lights switch in Ipswich last eyar, but Covid restrictions have cancelled this year's event. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Our high streets may be deserted and the festive season may feel slightly different this year, but the Christmas lights are returning and you can even watch them be switched on from the comfort of your own homes.

Here is a list of the virtual light ceremonies which you can watch this week to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Ipswich

There will be a “virtual” light-up ceremony performed by mayor Jan Parry on Thursday, November 19.

The festive season officially gets underway on the Ipswich Cornhill tonight.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe festive season officially gets underway on the Ipswich Cornhill tonight. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Borough Council will be releasing a video late on Thursday afternoon showing the lights and a message from Mrs Parry instead of the traditional lights switch-on from the steps of the Town Hall.

The video will be available on the borough’s website this evening.

MORE: Ipswich is ready for a colourful Christmas – with virtual ceremony

Bury St Edmunds

The Our Bury St Edmunds Facebook page will stream the live Christmas light switch-on at 7pm on Friday, November 20, in association with Bury St Edmunds Town Council.

You can also listen along live to RWSfm 103.3 throughout the day on Friday as they celebrate the event, featuring special broadcasts with many of the charities who would normally have had stalls at the switch-on event, together with some of the acts who would have performed on the stage. Charities to be featured include 1st Bury Scouts, My WiSH, St Nicholas Hospice and The Bury Drop In.

MORE: See this preview of Christmas TV ad-style film of Bury St Edmunds

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, the Business Improvement District (BID) group, said: “When we knew we were not going to be able to hold our usual switch on night the team at Our Bury St Edmunds wanted to do something more than just a virtual ceremony.

“When lockdown was announced we also wanted to be sure we weren’t doing anything that might encourage people to gather in the town thinking there would be something to see as the lights went on.

“So they’ll be switched on in different parts of the town at intervals throughout the evening but in place of an event we’ve worked with an incredibly talented creative team to produce a film telling a story at Christmas – in a similar style to that used by one of the major department stores’ annual Christmas TV advert.” Newmarket

Join in the festive cheer on Friday, November 20, as Newmarket comes together to watch the wonderful Christmas lights turn on.

Welcomed by Mayor Councillor Mick Jefferys and Love Newmarket Manager Paul Brown, the broadcast will take place at 7pm, welcoming the whole family to gather round and watch the festivities from the safety of their own homes.

The switch-on will be broadcast live on the Love Newmarket Facebook Page.

Stowmarket

Due to Covid restrictions, the town council has made the difficult decision to cancel the public light switch on and fayre.

Instead, you can join others online on Sunday, November 29 to watch the town council’s film about Stowmarket at Christmas.

The film will include ‘virtually’ the best switch on ever, and families are asked to stay home with hot chocolate and cosy socks to enjoy the event safely.

More details about when and how you can watch the video will be released soon.


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