Festive light shows set for schedule clash
South Ayrshire’s biggest festive parties face a fixture clash – for the second year in a row.
Christmas lights in Ayr, Prestwick and Troon will all be switched on during the same afternoon.
It comes despite council chiefs getting a 12 MONTH warning to avoid the scheduling blunder.
The big three towns now face the prospect of competing for trade on Sunday, November 19.
One source close to the Prestwick bash said: “South Ayrshire Council were told on November 16 last year of the plans for 2017.
“They knew all the way back then that Prestwick’s switch- on would take place on November 19.
“So despite having more than a year’s notice, they completely ignored the prior warning.
“At the end of the day, we’re only talking about common sense.
“The public are surely being let down if they have to choose between events, not to mention businesses being short changed.”
We told last year how the council pressed ahead with a controversial clash despite having six months’ notice on that occasion.
Their Ayr event was headlined by panto star Michelle Heaton and former Pop Idol star Gareth Gates.
But Prestwick are set to ramp up their celebrations this year with talks underway to hold a fireworks display.
Town councillor, Hugh Hunter, said: “Our event this year will, as ever, be a resounding success.
“We are planning our biggest celebration yet and while the clash is a real disappointment, it will not stop thousands from attending.”
Council enterprise chief, Jill Cronin, said: “There are five town centre switch- on events taking place this year, with communities set to enjoy festive entertainment in Ayr, Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick, and Troon.
“The organisers were invited to attend a meeting to discuss arrangements earlier this year, when it became clear that there were a limited number of dates being considered.
“Since then we’ve been working hard to deliver a successful series of events which make the best use of the available resources.
“We hope that people can enjoy the full- range of events and activities on offer this winter.”