Christmas has well and truly arrived in Coventry and, despite the annual lights events unable to go ahead, there is still plenty going on to bring festive cheer to the city this month.
This year’s theme focuses on a ‘Caring Christmas’, with displays that acknowledge those who have worked hard this year to keep us safe.
The centrepiece of the decorations is a giant Christmas tree in Broadgate, below a glowing canopy of stars, with splashes of yellow, red, green and blue right across the city centre.
Though local restrictions are in place under the city’s Tier 3 designation, the City Council alongside the Business Improvement District have worked with partners to bring Covid-safe, outdoor attractions to the city centre that can be enjoyed inline with restrictions, including a giant Christmas carousel in Broadgate.
A few minutes walk away in the ruins of the Cathedral Church of St Michael, the organisers behind UK City of Culture 2021 have been given the green light to go ahead with their festive event, Coventry Glides.
The organisers said they hope the event will continue annually, becoming “a regular feature of the city’s Christmas offer.”
In a statement, Coventry City Council said it was keen to emphasise that Christmas has not been cancelled in Coventry; many businesses have adapted to ensure safe Christmas shopping.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton added: “The weeks in the lead up to the Christmas holiday period are vitally important to local businesses, even more so during such a very difficult time.
“We hope being able to have this beautiful lighting also brings an extra festive cheer to everyone and provides a pleasant backdrop to the festive period.”
As has happened in previous years, the City Council will be eliminating parking charges after 3pm at selected sites as an incentive for shoppers to show their support to the city centre.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Ann Lucas, said: “I’m disappointed, like many of you, in being unable to be part of the annual lights switch on event this year, however, I hope we can all continue to play our own role in supporting each other to stay safe whilst bringing some festive smiles to the city.”
Trish Willets, from the Business Improvement District, explained: “The added bonus for 2020, is that we are able to celebrate and show our support to all the wonderful people who have kept us safe throughout what has been a very tough year also, by working with the 2021 Trust on the #CovHeroes project.
“We have installed lots of these nominees’ names on baubles, which are in turn, on the trees in the Bull Yard to celebrate Coventry’s Caring Heroes””