Last time to see fireworks at Christmas lights switch on

KATE SHEMILT ks1500596-9 Chi Lights On phot kate Fireworks.SUS-151126-214034008
KATE SHEMILT ks1500596-9 Chi Lights On phot kate Fireworks.SUS-151126-214034008
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Community groups and businesses are gearing up for the start of the Christmas season at the lights switch on next Thursday with a fireworks display promised by the Chichester BID.

This year will be the last year the event includes fireworks over Chichester Cathedral, which is due to start four years of roof repairs in January.

In place of the customary display, Chichester BID is looking into creating a light show on buildings in the city centre throughout the lead up to Christmas Eve and possibly during the summer as well.

Jeanette Hockley, from the BID, said it was time to modernise the display and do something different to encourage people to come in to the city throughout the festive period.

She said: “The cathedral architects have said they’re going to have another roof over the one they’re taking down and we could work round it, but this is the time now when we need to move with the times, to do more modern things.

“We couldn’t do the fireworks in Priory Park, that’s taking people out of the city centre.

“It’s a massive health and safety process as well. The cathedral have been fantastic, they’ve bent over backwards for us and the fire service and the police are great.”

She said although the current display looked lovely, it had to be very loud to use fireworks high enough to be visible over the cathedral and the event was really about getting the community together.

Performances this year at the switch on will include the Ruth Stein Dance School, Theatre Arts UK and choirs from Oakwood School, Chichester Cathedral and the city band accompanying Chichester Community Choir.

Acts will run from 5pm to 6.50pm in East Street with the lights on at 6.30pm.

A road closure will be in place in West Street and South Street.

The lights switch on will mark the start of late night shopping on Thursdays up to Christmas.