DETAILS of what will replace Northwich’s annual Christmas Extravaganza this year have been confirmed.

Northwich Town Council agreed the popular event should not take place at this month’s meeting in light of the pandemic and the ongoing restrictions banning mass gatherings.

The Extravaganza draws in thousands of visitors each November, going from strength to strength since the first event in 2014, but organisers felt it would pose a health risk.

However, the council still wanted Christmas to be celebrated in a Covid-secure way this year, and it has now put together a festive programme alongside Northwich BID and Barons Quay.

Chris Shaw, town clerk, said: “Safety and sensibility has to come first with regards to Christmas plans this year but the town will still be packed with festive cheer thanks to the trees, lights, decorations and scheduled campaigns.

“We have our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to get back to normal in 2021 and put on something bigger and better than ever before which is what the people of Northwich really deserve.”

Four sparkling Christmas trees will be lit up by Northwich Library, Town Bridge, in Weaver Square and in Barons Square, while festive lights and solar-powered Christmas tree hanging baskets will adorn the streets.

A virtual light switch-on video featuring a countdown from a range of business will be released online to kick off the festivities, while shops are invited to take part in a window display competition.

The 12 Gifts of Christmas campaign will also see Northwich Wishes return with a seasonal spin in December, while there will be a host of activities in the run-up to the big day at Barons Quay.

Adam Gerrard, project manager at Northwich BID, said: “It’s a shame we can’t hold another Extravaganza but the Christmas initiatives that we’re delivering are geared towards supporting businesses and highlighting their importance to the community at a time when they need custom and a spotlight shining on them more than ever.

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“There will still be a warming Yuletide vibe throughout the town with decorations and displays and we expect to be inundated with entries to the 12 Gifts of Christmas campaign which will really portray the season of goodwill.”

Northwich BID will also be running a campaign encouraging residents to shop local this Christmas to give businesses an end-of-year boost.