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Christmas lights switch on, switched off

Written by on 25 October 2017

Sittingbourne Christmas Lights grand switch-on cancelled.

The organisers of the annual Sittingbourne Christmas Lights switch-on, have taken the decision to cancel the festive event for 2017.

A post on the Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association’s Facebook recently said:

“Dear Residents of Sittingbourne and the surrounding villages, The volunteers of the Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association would like to thank you all for your ongoing support. The Christmas Lights in Sittingbourne town centre will be installed and lit as usual. Father Christmas will be visiting Sittingbourne and the surrounding villages in his sleigh in the evenings of the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Unfortunately our volunteer committee has had to take the difficult decision to cancel the main Switch On event this year, due to circumstances outside of our control.

We would like to thank members of the public, local businesses and councillors who have supported us and continue to support us. Watch this space for something special for Christmas 2018.”

The 2017 Switch-On would mark 54 years of the Sittingbourne Christmas lights, but with a “clash” of bookings over the high street’s usage on Saturday 25th November, see’s the regular Artisan Market booked on the same day.

Chairman of the Sittingbourne Christmas Lights said “It’s not going to happen because the event that we run each year is not compatible with the market that has been planned by the council on the same day”

The Christmas lights will still be installed and switched on around the same date (25th November) , but there will be no fanfare or celebrations to mark the occasion. The contractor which had been booked to set up the switch on has been told it will no longer be needed.

A Council spokesman has said: “We are aware the committee has announced its intention to cancel the switch-on but we hope this isn’t the case. We are still very happy to work with them”

For more information about the Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association:

Other Christmas light switch on dates across the borough are still going ahead:

Faversham Christmas Lights: Market Place, Faversham: Saturday 25th November: 5pm

Sheerness Christmas Market and Lantern parade: Saturday 2nd December: 10am – 5pm

Queenborough & Rushenden Christmas Light Parade: Sunday 3rd December: 4:30pm – 6:30pm

What are your memories of Sittingbourne Christmas Lights over the years? Can you remember when Lights & Trees were displayed on the front of Co-Op department store at the top of the High Street, Lights would stretch down to West Street from East Street, the lights that used to be perched on poles from one side of the high street to the other across the road? Share your memories with us.