Shaftesbury’s Community Choir and children from six local schools will provide the star attraction at the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.
In the past, celebrities have turned on the lights. But this year, Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce, who are organising the evening, want to put the community back at the centre of the celebrations.
Chairman David Perry said, “Visitors would often drive long distances to Shaftesbury to see our star guest. But as soon as the celebrity had spoken, they would leave. We were beginning to lose a sense of community spirit.”
At 6pm on Monday 4th December, Shaftesbury’s High Street will be filled with Christmas music as the Town Band accompanies Santa from the Football Club to his Town Hall grotto. The combined choir of up to two hundred singers will lead a seasonal sing-a-long including We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Ding Dong Merrily On High. The children will count down to the launch of the lights.
Children’s fairground rides and traction engines will provide additional colour to the seasonal sights and sounds. There will also be street food stalls, mince pies and mulled wine.
“The Chamber members want to recognise locals’ continued support and we wanted to give something back to the community,” David said.
For the first time, many retailers will be handing out vouchers that can be redeemed for a 10% saving in the New Year.
“We’re printing hundreds of these tokens but it’s first-come, first-served. It’s another great reason to come along on the night,” said David.