Virtual Christmas lights switch on planned with film made to capture magic of Christmas in South Tyneside
A festive film is to be screened to help bring together the community online for the first ever virtual lights switch on across South Tyneside.
The borough will dazzle from this Saturday, November 21, when its Christmas lights are officially turned on.
It follows the cancellation of the switch-on events and camel parade due to the pandemic, with the light switch-on moved online due to the ongoing efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The pre-recorded short film will be streamed on the council’s You Tube channel, via its social media platforms, at 7pm and then available to view throughout the festive season.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick said: “Every year, our Christmas lights switch on events really help to get the festive season underway in South Tyneside.
"Despite being delivered differently this year, our unique virtual celebration is sure to get people into the Christmas spirit.”
The Mayor, and Mayoress Jean Williamson, make appearances in the festive sketch alongside the Customs House’s panto favourites, Dame Bella, her hapless son Arbuthnot and his cousin Dennis, who has sadly lost his Christmas cheer.
Together they take viewers on a journey across South Tyneside to bring the magic and lights back to the borough, with the promise of a special visitor appearance from the North Pole.
The Customs House executive director, Ray Spencer MBE said: “The Christmas lights switch ons are real highlights for our communities across South Tyneside.
“I hope it brings a smile to everyone’s face and Christmas magic to everyone’s heart.”
The Mayor added: “We’re really excited to see the final edit being screened online this weekend and we hope that families enjoy watching it as much as we have enjoyed our acting debut.
"There’s also a wonderful opportunity for people to get involved by sharing pictures of their own lights, displays and decorations with us.”
The switch on is a collaboration between the council, the Customs House, Balfour Beatty and Wycombe 89 Media – with support from Santa – and is being produced in strict accordance with the Government guidance.