CHRISTMAS lights organisers in Stratford are urging the public to donate to help secure the event’s future post-pandemic.
The Stratford Lights Committee has launched a fundraising campaign ‘Love Your Lights’ to help keep the festive event – which has been lighting up the town since 1983 – going.
In previous years, the lights were funded by a combination of grants and donations from Stratford businesses.
But because of the pandemic, funding has been significantly reduced, which has meant this year’s display will be halved, and there will be no official switch-on event.
Following this decision, the committee is appealing to the public to help ensure the event continues for years to come.
Committee chairman Matthew Coombes is hopeful fans of Stratford’s lights will contribute to Love Your Lights.
He said: “The Christmas lights are so important to the town. They bring in plenty of visitors to Stratford who all contribute to the local economy while they’re here.
“Our lights display is of the most fantastic in the UK, and we certainly wouldn’t want them to disappear.
“But perhaps most importantly, the lights put a smile on people’s faces. We all need something to cheer us up this year.
“A lot of time and effort goes into creating the display, and it’s all done by volunteers too. And there are further costs beyond just putting up the lights – things like insurance, maintenance and safety all come into it too.
“We had to commit to a reduced display this year with a heavy heart, but with a bit of help, it will only be a one-off.
“I’d urge anyone who has enjoyed Stratford’s Christmas lights in the past to donate. Without support, we may not be able to continue this great tradition.”
He added £5 from every household in Stratford would secure its future and even make it bigger and better.
People can donate in a variety of ways including through QR codes posted around the town which, when scanned, will divert smartphone users to a donation page.
The committee will also have a stall at Stratford’s Christmas market where people will be able to donate as well.
This year’s display will be lit up on Thursday, November 19.
Visit stratforduponavonchristmaslights.co.uk for more information.