A British town has turned its Christmas lights back on in an effort to cheer residents up in the midst of the country’s ongoing national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The town of Tankerton in Kent turned off its holiday lights in early January but decided to flip them back on again this month, a move which many who live there completely support and even helped to fund.
A JustGiving Page raised £1,449 ($1990) to pay for the lights. The holiday lights in the town are always organized and paid for by local businesses who band together in a group called the Talk of Tankerton. They originally aimed to raise £300 ($415) to get the display up and running again but have far surpassed that goal and vowed to use the additional funds to go towards the Christmas 2021 display.
This definitely “adds some sparkle to lockdown.” The total lockdown in the UK at the moment means that travel is forbidden under than for essential journeys, people are working from home where possible, and all but essential retail stores are closed for business. It’s been a tough time, but this small gesture is making a big difference.
Turning the lights back on was a no-brainer. Co-founder Julie Corke explained that while the holiday season is traditionally over, everyone was hesitant to shut down the one bright spot in the year. “Our Christmas lights were so well-received over Christmas. But going into a lockdown straight after Christmas and New Year, it just seemed having to turn the lights off was going to be too dull and too dark for everyone,” she said. “Everyone needs a bit of light and sparkle through lockdown to make them smile. We switched them off, then among ourselves discussed turning them back on.”
The residents are extremely happy with the move. Coming online to thank the organizers, one person wrote: “We are so pleased you have done this. It’s beautiful and twinkly and makes us smile. Thank you.” Another added: “Great effort from all involved. Very much appreciated by residents and admired by visitors.” More towns should be doing this!
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