When Hoylake’s Christmas Lights are officially switched on this Saturday, 1 December, it will mark the culmination of a year-long effort by local residents and businesses.
All 49 lamp posts along Market Street have been sponsored by businesses, families and individuals, together with 36 trees – meaning they can all be lit up in the familiar pink glow. And, for the first time, the lights have been extended into Meols.
Sarah Briscoe, from Hoylake Christmas Lights, told West Kirby Today: “In 2017 our total fundraising more than doubled our expectations.
“We have no financial support from the Council and all the lights you see are owned by the community.
“Many of the businesses and shops have sponsored having a tree illuminated in pink above their shop fronts, which extends the lights right along Market Street and Birkenhead Road.
“After requests made last year, we have taken the lights into Meols with pink trees on the Green by St John’s, a lovely live Christmas tree and lights by the shops. This has been done through donations and road collections by residents in Meols. We have plans for more lights in Meols in 2019 particularly by the shops at Station Approach.”
In addition, more than 150 baubles have been painted by local children at the Potting Shed, and are hanging on rings below two trees in The Row.
New for this year is a Reindeer Trail – a treasure hunt for children involving 21 ceramic reindeer placed in shop windows. People can buy forms for £1 and walk along Market Street and Birkenhead Road to match the reindeer name to the shop name on the form.
All children completing the trail will receive a badge, and three winners will be drawn from all the correctly returned forms to win one of the ceramic reindeer. There will also be a grand draw to switch on the lights next year, chosen at random from children who have painted the baubles and completed the trail.
The switch-on takes place at The Row (by the Co-op) on Saturday 1 December at 6pm, with the festivities starting from 4pm.
There will be music from The Bluebird Choir, Meols Community Choir and Great Meols Primary School Choir, and Anamal Dance School and the Wirral Ukelele Fanatics will be performing.
Sarah adds: “Father Christmas will be in his grotto in the Co-op from 4pm until 7pm, and four lucky children are switching on the lights at 6pm, two each from Holy Trinity and Great Meols primary schools.”
Once illuminated, the lights will be on until the end of February, providing a warm glow during the dark winter months.
And if you have ever wondered why the lights are pink, Sarah explains: “There are a couple of reasons, firstly they are our seasonal winter lights representing pink cherry blossom. Secondly, some of the lamp posts in Hoylake are actually very bright and so warm white does not show so well.”
More information about Hoylake Christmas Lights can be found at www.facebook.com/HoylakeChristmasLights or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org