Cannock Christmas light switch-on scaled back
The annual Christmas Lights switch-on in Cannock has been scaled back – putting a downer on the festive season before it's even begun.
This year, there will be no fireworks but the bandstand lights WILL be switched on at 7pm this Friday, bosses from Cannock Traders Association have confirmed.
The closure of the multi-storey car park in the town centre in August has been a major factor as that's where the fireworks are usually set off from.
There will still be a market, a visit from Santa and various clowns but some residents have vented their frustration that the big bash will now be on a smaller scale.
Sheila Dunning, chair of the Traders Association, said: “We are doing it differently this year and I understand there will be some people upset.
“But there is no way the Traders Association could pay the thousands of pounds for the Christmas switch-on.
"It has been impossible to try do the event on the same scale and we have done our very best.”
On December 15 and 22, the council’s car parks across the district will be free to use.
The Cannock Christmas Street Market will be held on December 1, 20 and 22 plus a Christmas Grotto will take place in the Indoor Market.
Last year, the council pulled funding for Christmas lights across 10 locations in the district, including Cannock, which saved £33,590.
It came after the closure of Rugeley Power Station cost the council £1 million a year in the lost business rates along with cuts from the government.
The council has continued to give lights, at no charge, to local parish and town councils as well as traders in Cannock. Technical support has also been provided.
Joanne Turner, aged 42, said: “Thousands of Cannock folk look forward to the big night. It is something I have been going to since I was little.
"The tradition is sentimental and it is wrong to cut back on it. I will not be going this year. This is a massive blow to the town.”