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Whitchurch Christmas Lights set for November 22 switch-on

Christmas Lights PosterA LOCAL businessman has rescued the Whitchurch Christmas Lights event which was left “in serious jeopardy” after the traders’ committee disbanded earlier this year.

Tomas Champ, owner of The Play Loft, stepped up this autumn when the event – which has run for the last 14 years -was left in doubt. The switch-on is scheduled for November 22.

Mr Champ says his plans focus on a more traditional Christmas and less fairground. A lantern parade will begin at the legion car park at 4.30pm then enter the village and start the carols.

This will be followed by a variety of acts including local singer Luke Andrews and various rides, Christmas stalls, Santa’s grotto and fireworks.

The name of the person who has been chosen to switch on the lights is due to be confirmed soon.

Prior to the traders’ committee’s disbandment, local barber George Lazarou ran the annual event, which was attended by 2,000 people last year.

Mr Champ acknowledged his gratefulness for local traders’ recent generosity and said: “It is a massive opportunity to showcase our business and the village to all around and a legacy we should all appreciate and support.

“I love Christmas and know it would be a disaster for all the community if Whitchurch did not hold its annual event.”

He added: “The event was absorbed into a traders committee, which has run it for the last two years. Unfortunately the committee disbanded and this left the event in serious jeopardy.”

Christmas LightsMr Champ said he was thankful for the help of various people including Jason Lewis from Autocraft, Roger Walters and Paddy from the Gift Shop. He added: “All the other traders whom I have approached asking for contributions have all welcomed the event and want to see it succeed – Ikona, Martin Player, Damien Harris and the man himself George Lazarou.”

Matthew Lock, founder of the community website My Whitchurch, also expressed his relief at the go-ahead: “It’s great to have the Christmas lights this year. I don’t think many people know how close we came to not having anything.”

“It’s not an easy task to get done and last year there were concerns it was getting a little too commercial, so hopefully it will have more community Christmas spirit.”

Mr Champ appealed to the community for help in ensuring the event runs smoothly: “I am encouraging anyone who would like to help steward on the night to please get in touch as soon as possible.”

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