Monday, 24 June 2019

Christmas festival date set

Christmas festival date set

THIS year’s Christmas Festival will not be moved and will be held on the same day as the switch-on of the lights after all.

In January, the town council agreed to stage both events on November 29 in keeping with the tradition of using the Friday evening nearest December 1.

But members of its town and community committee asked the full council to consider moving the late-night shopping festival to December 6 as this would be nearer to Christmas and switch on the lights on December 1, the opening night of the Henley Living Advent Calendar.

Some members said shoppers didn’t want to celebrate Christmas in November and would be in a more festive mood the following week.

But Laurence Morris, owner of Laurence Menswear in Duke Street, said moving the event would harm businesses.

He told the council on Tuesday that traders relied on the festive period and holding the festival on November 29 was better for them.

“If you move it to the 6th that reduces that period and you will crucify some of businesses in town,” he said.

“The town needs a Christmas festival and that must have the lights switch on that same night.”

He said Marlow was holding its festival on November 21 adding: “Just because we’re Henley and we think November is too early that is not a reason.”

The council agreed with Mr Morris with Councillor Lorraine Hillier saying it was “sensible” to listen to traders while Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak added: “The date is going to be November 29 so that it helps the retailers and it gets Christmas off to a really good start.”

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