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We’ll be gathering round our laptops and phones this year rather than the tree as Peterborough’s Christmas lights go on virtually, but in style.

There’ll be no huge crowds in Cathedral Square this year for the annual event but it looks like every effort’s been made to make sure the switch-on is still an exciting family occasion complete with special appearances, Father Christmas, the chance to celebrate our unsung heroes and a 15 minute broadcast hosted by radio presenter Kev Lawrence.

The virtual Christmas lights switch-on has been pre-reocrded and will be streamed online across numerous digital platforms on Wednesday December 2 at 7pm.

It will feature the lights being switched on around the city centre and the illumination of a 40ft traditional Spruce Christmas tree in Cathedral Square.

Photo: Emma Bothamley for ESP

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Community Radio presenter Kev Lawrence will once again be hosting the switch-on and introducing lots of guests as well as Father Christmas bringing us his festive message.

You’ll get to vote for your favourite unsung hero that has been nominated by organisations and individuals they’ve worked with during the pandemic, with the hero with the most votes chosen to switch on this year’s Christmas Lights. To vote visit Voting closes at 12noon Thursday November 19.

Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “Don’t turn up, but tune in to Peterborough’s virtual Christmas Light switch-on event. The Christmas lights are even more important this year to bring some festive cheer to Peterborough residents. We’re delighted we were able to still let people count down with us and enjoy watching the lights being switched-on in the comfort of their own homes.

Kev Lawrence PCR FM. Picture by Terry Harris.

“As we are unable to host a large scale event given the ongoing pandemic, it is going to be a scaled down 15 minute virtual event hosted online. Thank you to the participants for helping us bring some Christmas cheer to our residents and special thanks to our host Kev Lawrence, film editor Chris Pallister and of course Santa.” 

So don’t visit Cathedral Square on December 2 as this isn’t a live event, it’s been pre-recorded to avoid any large gatherings of people.

Once Peterborough reopens, subject to government restrictions being lifted, there will also be fairground rides from December 2 as well as a Christmas craft market from December 2-6.

To view the virtual Christmas lights switch-on event on Wednesday December 2 at 7pm visit the website and social media channels of Peterborough City Council, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Peterborough Community Radio and Peterborough Live.


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