Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Sittingbourne Christmas lights to be autism-friendly

By Ellis Stephenson

The town’s Christmas lights will be switched on next month for the 55th time, after festive celebrations were cancelled in 2017.

And this year’s event is set to be the most inclusive yet, with a dedicated tent to ensure people with autism can enjoy the show.

Chairman of Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association, Dave Pratt, said: “It was a shame last year did not happen for everyone and the public.

Sittingbourne Christmas lights will be switched on with a parade this year. Picture: Rob Canis
Sittingbourne Christmas lights will be switched on with a parade this year. Picture: Rob Canis

“Christmas lights have been going on in Sittingbourne for the last 55 years in one form or another. The reason it was cancelled was to make sure we could run everything safely.

“We did not want to put on something half-hearted and let people down.”

This year the association is going to be holding a market and switch on show with activities planned from 10am on Saturday, November 17.

And charity Swale Spectrum is working with organisers to make sure people with autism are catered for.

A tent will be set up so people who are overwhelmed by the experience can take time out from the festivities and relax for a while.

The show will include a fairground, market and live music. Picture: Chris Davey
The show will include a fairground, market and live music. Picture: Chris Davey

The project is being funded by Swale councillors Sarah Aldridge and Alan Horton.

Plans for what the tent will include, and where it will be placed in the High Street, are still to be confirmed.

Mr Pratt said: “The tent will be something different. It is important to be as inclusive as possible.

“We hope this is a small token, paving the way to potentially do other things like this.”

Although there will not be a parade, there will be a Christmas market with around 30 traders expected.There will also be a fairground and music at a stage in Central Avenue from 11am.

From 1pm entertainment will be put on with choirs, dance troupes and performances from the runners up and winner of Switch on Talent Show, held by Holiday Inn Coniston. This year’s champion was singer Sian Jeffries. The switch on is planned for between 5.15pm and 5.30pm.

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More