Rugby set for best ever Christmas lights switch-on, with emergency services playing a very special role

It looks like it's going to be a brilliant day

File image.

Representatives from Rugby' s police, fire and ambulance services will have the honour of switching the town's Christmas lights on November 21 this year.

The ceremony, which had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic, usually sees a celebrity invited to switch the lights on, but this year it was decided that the people who work tirelessly to keep us safe should do the honours.

Organisers of the event, Rugby First and Rugby Borough Council, said they felt it would be a fitting and simple way of thanking and recognising the dedication and commitment of the services over the past 18 months, in what has been a very difficult and challenging time for everyone.

A representative from the Police, NHS and Fire Service have been nominated by their respective services to turn the lights on.

The festive family annual event will take place between 12 noon and 5.30pm with around 8,000 people expected to enjoy the lights and Christmas celebrations.

Jo Kemp, Rugby First operations director, said: “We are delighted to welcome back the Rugby Town Centre Christmas Light-switch-on in what has been a very difficult 18 months for everyone, including local businesses.

"The idea to have the emergency services switch-on the lights along with a community-based music programme seemed an obvious way to say thanks and reflect while at the same time bringing together communities into the town centre.

“The annual event is always very well-attended and generates significant footfall and trade for town centre businesses.

"We look forward to welcoming visitors and hope you will support the businesses on the day but also in the lead-up to Christmas.”

As well as the lights and a full programme of live music, there will be a funfair, children’s entertainment, street food, stalls, plus a spectacular firework display that will bring the event to a close.

Activities will take place on North Street, Church Street, Market Place, Regent Street, Henry Street, Albert Street, Bank Street and other areas of the town centre.

Rides on the day will include a Ferris wheel, dodgems and a twister - but don't forget the funfair will also be sited on the North Street car park on November 20 from 12pm to 8pm.

A spokesperson for Rugby First said: "As well as the funfair why not have your face painted, try your hand at Circus skills or simply sing along to the festive carols and music on the main stage on North Street! You can also help your child make a lantern and bring it along on the day - there will be spot prizes for ones that catch our eye!

"While you are in town take the opportunity to pick up your Christmas gifts.

"There’s a fantastic choice of national and independent stores offering a wide variety of interesting and unique gifts for friends and family.

"After all this you are bound to be feeling hungry so take some time out to enjoy some street food or great food and drink from the many cafes, pubs, and restaurants in the town centre.

"At the end of the day look to the skies and enjoy the spectacular firework display."

Visit www.rugbyfirst.org for all the latest information and further updates,