Christmas will be different in Conwy this year, with new activities replacing its iconic Christmas Eve event, which attracts thousands of locals and visitors to the walled town.
Conwy Town Council usually organises carol singing and live stage performances, culminating in Santa appearing on the Castle battlements and a spectacular firework display, plus community carol singing events in Deganwy and Llandudno Junction, and a Boxing Day dip in Deganwy. But the Covid-19 pandemic makes it impossible to hold these events safely this year, according to the Mayor, Councillor Emma Leighton-Jones.
"After much consideration we have decided that we cannot run our usual Christmas Events in Deganwy and Llandudno Junction, Christmas Eve in Conwy or Deganwy Boxing Day Dip. Such a decision wasn't made lightly but the health of our community is paramount and at the forefront of this decision. We know that the cancellation of these events will be a disappointment, however in these unprecedented times it can be our only choice." Cllr Leighton-Jones explained.
But the Town Council is planning to replace these activities with something new. "We are determined to spread a little festive cheer in these challenging circumstances and are working towards something special that we can't wait to announce in the coming weeks." Cllr Leighton-Jones added. "And of course, we look forward to bringing our regular events back, bigger and better than ever, when it is safe to do so. We would also like to thank the fabulous volunteers who normally give their time on Christmas Eve to support our event."
This was the only feasible option, explained David Phillips, Safety Adviser to Conwy Town Council, "After many years Conwy Town Council Christmas celebrations have grown into a very special family orientated event. However, this year is very different, whatever risk management process we use try to mitigate against Coronavirus sadly there is no way round it, our Christmas events have to be radically different and socially distanced to keep us all safe and healthy for the coming year."
Councillors are very aware that seeing Santa on the battlements on Christmas eve has become a fixture for many local families, none more so than Councillor Shari Barber-Bailey, Vice-Chair of the Christmas Committee, whose own children look forward to the event. "My girls will be disappointed as they love seeing Santa on the castle," She said, "But we couldn't make it safe this year, and safety has to be our top priority. I think that our alternative this year will be popular with children though."
Christmas lights have also received a refresh for 2020, with new designs, and extra tree lights for the flyover roundabout in Llandudno Junction, while Gyffyn now has a permanent power supply for its Christmas tree, which was introduced for Christmas 2019.
For further details, please contact the Town Clerk on 01492 596254, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit. Tanya Liepins, Conwy Camera Club.