Published: 16:11, 15 October 2020
| Updated: 16:12, 15 October 2020
Mystery local heroes will be turning on Deal 's Christmas Lights this year as organisers announce preparations for their first ever virtual event.
Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade which hosts the seasonal bonanza is unable to encourage crowds to gather on Friday, November 27 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
But they'd still like people to get involved by watching it via a live stream on their website: dwchamber.co.uk
Secretary Peter Davies said: "In the last couple of years we've had local heroes turning on the lights.
"We've had the likes of the Royal Marines, the RNLI and Ellice Barr and Theo Knott and they always get a great reception.
"This year is no exception. We've got more local heroes in mind and we really hope they will come on board and say yes."
He said the identity of the heroes will be revealed once arrangements have been confirmed.
He added: "It's important to have pride in our town and say thank you to people who are real heroes."
The virtual event means this year there will be no stage outside Deal Town Hall, offering live entertainment or snow machine.
The Chamber's auction which raises money for the lights is also off.
Mr Davies said: "Because of this and being unable to do our annual Stranger in the Window competition, our funds our down. Every year we extend the lights and we can't extend this year.
"But we'll be back bigger and better next year."
But as part of the coverage, from 7pm until 7.30pm, there will be singalongs for all the family, an appearance from Father Christmas and interviews with shop owners.
The event will also be live on Deal Radio, with the radio playing festive music requests until 8pm.
The lights will be put up around the town on Sunday, November 8 with trees going up the following weekend.
Extra preparations have been made to ensure this is conducted in a safe manner.
Mr Davies said: "All the lights string and trees will be put up in a safe way, with people wearing face shields."
The trees will, once again, be dressed by volunteers from Deal Rowing Club. Sadly children from local Scouts groups will not be involved due to social distancing rules.
The Chamber is looking for a volunteer with film experience to help with the virtual event.
If you think you could help, call Peter Davies on 07540 973162.