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Leicester gets ready to light up for Christmas

Published on Monday, October 30, 2017

Christmas in Leicester artwork

THE MAMMOTH task of installing the twinkling lights and the colourful garlands that will decorate Leicester city centre this Christmas is now well under way.

Contractors working for the city council are busy putting up the decorations that cross the city’s main shopping streets and checking the 13,000 lamps that will light up Leicester in the run-up to Christmas.

This year – as in the previous two years – 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 Belvoir Street and Halford Street this year, with new decorative spans going up over both streets. Similar to the decorations used on Market Street and Granby Street, the contemporary designs feature snowflakes, stars and Christmas trees.

Colourful new decorations have already gone up around the Market Place and decorations for the new market square have also been ordered. The four trees in the square will be lit up with pea-lights, while illuminated garlands will be strung between the square’s lamp-columns to create a festive atmosphere in the new space.

The trees in Jubilee Square will also be lit up to create a sparkling backdrop for the Wheel of Light – the big wheel that will be back in the square for the Christmas period – and the spectacular real ice rink that will open to the public on Saturday 9 December.

At the Clock Tower, a giant Christmas tree – a 50ft Sitka spruce – will be carefully lowered into place, while the city’s traditional nativity scene and a tableau depicting The Chronicles of Narnia will be installed in Town Hall Square.

Assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “Our lighting team and contractors are working hard to make sure that Leicester looks magical this Christmas and that everything’s ready for the big switch-on on 23 November.”

Contractors working for the council have been installing the decorations early in the morning and at weekends to minimise inconvenience to road users.

Leicester’s Christmas lights will be switched on as part of a packed evening of entertainment on Thursday 23 November from 5pm.

Full details of all the events taking place in Leicester this Christmas will be in a free guide – available from 16 November – and at