Every year Preston attracts thousands of people to the Christmas Lights Switch On. The popular festive event usually takes place in the Flag Market.

However, like most places hoping to open after lockdown, healthy and hygiene risks must be considered. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to hold the event this year; with social distancing rules at 1 m, it is not possible to control the crowd hoping to get a glimpse of the Christmas tree.

Preston BID, the organisers and fundraisers of the Switch On, say that with the interest of public safety, they have decided to broadcast the event online.

A spokesperson for Preston BID said: “We, like thousands of people, always look forward to this special event.

“This year, owing to obvious circumstances, we have no alternative but to look at different ways to mark the occasion, in the interest of public safety.”

Having announced our Switch On in Lytham had been cancelled to the locals’ dismay, following the news of Preston’s virtual switch on, the organisers of Lytham’s Christmas festivities have announced they will be doing the same!

Has Christmas been saved or will it not feel so magical this year? After months locked in our homes, it’s something we need to look forward to!