Leicester's Diwali and Christmas lights switch-on events are cancelled due to COVID-19

The Diwali and the Christmas lights switch on events in Leicester have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The City Council says the decision was made because of the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings.

The events normally held in October and November respectively would usually attract tens of thousands of people to Leicester's streets.

However, the city’s traditional Diwali and Christmas decorations will still light up Leicester this year.

The council’s lighting team will start putting up the lights as normal early next month and they will be switched on by a timer.

Alternative ideas are being worked up for ways in which people can mark the occasions - additionally, the ice rink in Jubilee Square won’t be part of the plans this year.

The ice rink is expected to be back in Leicester next year.

Leicester’s traditional Bonfire Event in Abbey Park has also been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While other popular events – such as the Cosmopolitan Arts Festival and the Leicester International Music Festival – will take place online this year.

 Details of Leicester’s alternative plans for Diwali and Christmas, and information about new festive attractions for 2020, will be released in the coming weeks.

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