Green light for town’s festive lantern parade

Pictures:Bill Johnson.'"Tram Sunday" at Fleetwood. Fleetwood Festive Lights committee members , from left, Jennie Bywater, Councillor Mike Barrowclough (secretary) and Councillor Christine Smith (chairperson).
Pictures:Bill Johnson.'"Tram Sunday" at Fleetwood. Fleetwood Festive Lights committee members , from left, Jennie Bywater, Councillor Mike Barrowclough (secretary) and Councillor Christine Smith (chairperson).

Fleetwood is to get another glittering lantern parade as part of the town’s festive lights switch-on.

The big switch-on event takes place on Saturday November 23 and organisers have spent many months planning it.

However, it has not been a smooth run-up to the festive event.

The Fleetwood Festive Light Committee had to ensure that plans for the parade met with all the criteria needed by the police for road closure orders - and it was not straightforward.

Coun Mike Barrowclough, secretary of the committee, said: “It is not easy planning public events these days. There is quite a lot of red tape involved and it can be time consuming.

“Thankfully, we had a great deal of assistance from Clive Grunshaw, the Police and Crime Commissioner, who was able to give us advice and help us liaise with the police.

“With time pressing on, we did not want too many delays.”

The committee were also facing a costly bill of “several hundred pounds” from Blackpool Transport to cover the costs of the cessation of the trams during the parade, but this has also reached a satisfactory conclusion.

After discussions with Fleetwood Town Council, Blackpool Transport has agreed to waive the fee and has even agreed to supply an illuminated tram to lead the lantern parade.

Coun Barrowclough added: “We would like to thank Blackpool Transport for this generous gesture. We have limited funds and organising all the aspects of lighting up Fleetwood is an expensive operation.

“It costs £20,000 each year, with the Christmas trees and other costs, and although we get help from Wyre Council and local businesses, we still have to raise £10,000 of that each year.”

The parade will set off from the Fisherman’s Walk clock at 5.30pm.

It will then travel down Lord Street and North Albert Street to the Euston Gardens, ready for the switch on at approximately 6pm, featuring live music, and followed by a carol service at the Marine Hall, where some tickets are available.