So many ‘likes’ proof that the show must go on, backed by BID
WELL done, yesterday you made me feel very proud of my home town”. Thirteen words from a resident of our town that, to us at the BID, made all the work that went into organising and staging this year’s Christmas lights switch-on so worthwhile.
We posted a picture on our Facebook account a few short hours after the event had finished and within minutes the response was overwhelmingly positive.
The power of social media: over 460 likes, 61 comments, 334 shares and 26,000 reached by 11pm that night showed just how well the show went down with everyone.
We certainly needed to do something special for this Christmas as last year’s event set a high bar for us to follow.
We pride ourselves at doing things a bit differently.
When the BID first started we decided to cancel Southport’s traditional Christmas parade and invest more in a new stage set-up and new Christmas lights.
Last year we took the decision to switch from a Saturday switch-on to Sunday and bring the event start time forward to midday in order to encourage people to come into town and stay there for the afternoon.
This year we realised that something different needed to be done if we were to improve on previous switch-on events.
The big change was the tree. When we announced that we had decided to switch from a traditional tree to a modern structure it’s fair to say that the initial comments weren’t always favourable.
It was a risk, but one that was worth taking as we needed to do something completely different.
The whole event gave us new opportunities in terms of managing the space and in terms of delivering the entertainment.
Our thanks must go to Sefton Council’s tourism and operations team for their help in making the event work so well.
Thanks must also go to Norman and Neil at Pleasureland for their help in bringing in the fairground rides and food concessions.
It’s our last major event of this current BID term.
Next year’s event (including the lights themselves) will depend on securing a Yes vote in the ballot.
Christmas is, of course, just one part of what the BID does. But it is the most important. A No vote in the ballot would mean that the funding for the event (and everything else that the BID does) would need to come from elsewhere.
And the chances of that happening?
Until someone comes up with a realistic alternative, the answer must be zero.
The Southport Christmas Lights Switch-on on November 18