‘WE will light up Fleetwood for Karen.’
That is the pledge from the family of Fleetwood Christmas Lights Committee member Karen Leo, who has died at the age of 49.
Karen has been instrumental in the committee’s work to ensure Fleetwood is lit up for Christmas this year like never before. And now they want to dedicate this year’s display to her memory.
Best friend and colleague at Russell’s Hair Salon Genise Bywater said the job is almost complete but to do it without Karen is devastating.
She said: “Last year Karen and her husband Dave went out on Christmas Eve and felt it could have been a night out at any other time of the year.
“Then at New Year they went to Southport and saw how beautifully festive it looked with trees along the high street. “She loved it and from that moment on she decided she wanted to help Fleetwood shine this Christmas. We went to the committee meeting in February to suggest the ideas. We are totally devastated by what has happened, it has left a big hole in our lives.”
Karen was diagnosed with lung cancer when she began suffering with shoulder pain in May this year. The disease progressed rapidly and she died at home in September.
Karen’s daughter Danielle Tennant, 21, said even in her final days she was still talking about the lights.
She said: “She was still giving out instructions and it was her biggest wish to see the Mount lit up, so that is what we are going to do.”
The big switch on is set for November 17 and will take place in Euston Park Gardens following a lantern parade of light from Ash Street.
The lights for the town are:
n More than 80 shops displaying lit Christmas trees above the shop fronts.
n Five large Christmas trees in the Euston Gardens; Ash Street, junction of Broadway and Poulton Road; West View roundabout and Larkholme shops. There might be a sixth tree if funds allow.
n Lighting up the Mount Pavilion
n The lighting of 32 trees in planters which already line Lord Street and the Pocket Park. As well as the lights, there will be displays of paper baubles in shops across the town, with written messages of hope and memories. “We would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and support,” added Glenise.
Karen leaves three other daughters, Samantha, Louise and Lucy.