IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT MORE LIKE CHRISTMAS!
With the city sadly unable to host its big annual Christmas Lights switch on event due to the current Tier 3 restrictions, the Council along with key city partners have still been working hard to bring some festive cheer to the city centre.
This year’s celebrations focus on the theme of a Coventry Caring Christmas, with the displays acknowledging those who have worked so hard over the last year to keep us safe, whilst showing support to those business who will be open in the lead up to the holiday period.
A giant Christmas Tree along with a spectacular glowing canopy of stars in Broadgate provides a lovely centrepiece to the city centre, in addition to several displays of lighting to provide sparkle and bring splashes of festive colours for people to enjoy right across the city centre.
And especially for this challenging year, messages of appreciation and support will be carried across the city centre, including Broadgate and the High Street, as a thank you and acknowledgment to everybody who continues working to keep people and their families safe.
The Council and its partners are keen to emphasise that Christmas has not been cancelled in Coventry despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Many Coventry businesses have been adapting their facilities to ensure that they can be used safely by any Christmas shoppers, and visitors must follow any instructions given when inside a building or facility.
Visitors are also reminded that, while they’re in the city centre, they must strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines, including wearing a face covering where appropriate and maintaining a two-metre distance from anyone not in their household.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services added:
“The weeks in the lead up to the Christmas holiday period are vitally important to local businesses, even more so during such a very difficult time. As last year, we have agreed to run our free car parking offer across selected Council sites in the city centre as an incentive for shoppers to show their support to our city centre whilst at the same time reminding people to follow the guidelines and safety measures put in place to ensure a safe visit.
“We hope being able to have this beautiful lighting also brings an extra festive cheer to everyone and provides a pleasant backdrop to the festive period.”
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Ann Lucas, said:
“2020 has certainly been a challenging year for everybody and as we all continue to live with the restrictions, we still wanted to bring some festive feelgood factor and cheer to those who visit, work and live in the city centre in the lead up to Christmas.
“For Christmas 2020, we also wanted to acknowledge all those who on a daily basis have, and continue to, work hard to keep us all safe and having messaging to show our support is one such highly visible way to say thank you to them all.
“I’m disappointed, like many of you, in being unable to be part of the annual lights switch on event this year, however, I hope we can all continue to play our own role in supporting each other to stay safe whilst bringing some festive smiles to the city.”
As part of the ongoing support for those who want to play their part in supporting the non-essential shops and other businesses which will be operating in the lead-up to Christmas, the Council has once again introduced free car parking after 3pm in selected Council city centre car parks.
Trish Willetts, BID Director, said: “We are delighted to once again be working closely with our great friends at Coventry City Council to bring some festive joy to the city ahead of Christmas. The added bonus for 2020, is that we are able to celebrate and show our support to all the wonderful people who have kept us safe throughout what has been a very tough year also, by working with the 2021 Trust on the #CovHeroes project. We have installed lots of these nominees’ names on baubles, which are in turn, on the trees in the Bull Yard to celebrate Coventry’s Caring Heroes”.
“We hope all those who are safely able to come into the city will enjoy seeing the lights, with more sparkle to come when the last of ours are switched on next week.”
Although some non-essential shops will be open in the lead up to Christmas, there will be a number of attractions and online activities open and accessible in which people can show support for city businesses.