Halifax BID has announced it is not holding the switch-on because of Covid-19 but says that by spending the cash they would usually spend on this event on other Christmas activities instead, they will be able to bring the festivities to a wider audience for a longer period of time.
Attractions will include an elves workshop, Christmas gifting trees, new festive lighting, costumed cartoon characters, musical street performances, visits to Santa and chocolate giveaways.
Halifax BID Project Manager Chloe McNeill said: "For months we’ve been consulting widely about what to do this Christmas, carefully considering the views and needs of residents, businesses and partner organisations as well as those of potential visitors to our town.
“We decided to direct our precious resources at a broad range of activities and events which we’re confident will offer maximum public entertainment without compromising safety or proving divisive.”
Halifax BID is helping spruce up the town in time for Christmas by organising for 12 shops to get a magical festive makeover.
Artist Jenny Tribillon is single-handedly painting images in the shop windows, each with the theme of the 12 Days of Christmas.
Together, the windows will create a painted window trail for people to follow. Each window will also feature a QR code for people to scan using Halifax BID’s LoyalFree app and be entered into a Christmas prize draw.
BID’s Project Manager, Chloe McNeil, said: “Residents and visitors absolutely love Jenny’s painted windows, and visiting them has become a favourite Christmas activity over the years.
“They don’t just help the town look and feel fantastic in the weeks before Christmas, they also attract people into Halifax and encourage them to explore more of the town centre and that’s great news for businesses here.
“We’ve got lots of fun things planned this year for Christmas, including other old favourites and some new ideas too, but this one is sure to be one of the most eagerly awaited by the widest range of people.”
The shops taking part in the trail are Harveys of Halifax, House of Candles, Bourbon Street Social, L’abeille Boutique, Franklyns Jewellers, Café Nero, Electric Bowl, Milk Bar, YMCA Shop, Yates, Cycle Gear and Althams.
Information about other activities taking place around Halifax at Christmas will be available from Halifax BID’s hub in The Woolshops, which is being transformed into a festive grotto and will have printed information and online resources.
Chloe said: “With so much going on this Christmas it made perfect sense to use our hub as a festive information centre.”