Lights Out on 2021 Festive Season in South Tyneside
Now that the festive season has been and gone, work is underway to take down South Tyneside's festive lighting displays.
Each autumn, South Tyneside Council and its street lighting partner, Balfour Beatty, start putting up the Borough's Christmas displays to ensure they are in place in time for the Christmas lights switch on events across South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn.
In January, the lights are carefully removed and packed away ready for next Christmas. Those still in place on the 'Twelfth Night' (6 January) are switched off.
The 2021 festive season saw the return of the Christmas lights switch on events in their traditional physical format, after the previous year's switch on celebration was held virtually due to coronavirus restrictions.
To mark the countdown to Christmas and pay tribute to those who supported their communities during the pandemic, local heroes were invited on stage to perform the official switch ons.
In addition to the Christmas Wonderland events and activities, the Council invested in a range of extra new light installations, helping more areas of the Borough's towns and villages to dazzle over the festive period.
New features included motifs along Fowler Street and Keppel Street and leading up to Market Square. Additional lighting was also installed along King Street with an overhead canopy as well as lit trees at the northern end of the high street.
New displays featured in Hebburn at the Victoria Road East/Campbell Park Road roundabout and in Jarrow on the A185 roundabout, along Church Bank and on trees in Linear Park.
Trees at Harton Village and the roundabout at Cauldwell Avenue/Sunderland Road sparkled with new lights and East Boldon was lit up with new motifs along Front Street. A new Christmas tree was installed at Marsden Grotto car park.
These new lighting features were installed in addition to the Borough's existing displays, helping to ensure that the Borough was well lit over the festive period.
Once again, work is getting underway on a rolling programme to remove the Christmas trees for recycling into woodchip and for lighting displays to be carefully placed into storage.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "Each year, South Tyneside's displays help to spread festive cheer across the Borough. After a tough period for all our communities, we were determined to help raise spirits further with additional festive lighting in our towns and villages as well as the return of our traditional Christmas Wonderland events.
"It takes around four weeks to put up the displays and test them. Understandably, it can take just as long to take them down. The process involves carefully removing the lights across our towns and villages, checking them over and storing them away ready for next year.
"Due to the quantity of decorations across the Borough, it is simply not possible to take down all of the displays before the traditional 'Twelfth Night', although those still in place are switched off at this time."
The investment in new festive lighting is just one of the ways to Council is delivering on its key priority to support town centres, villages, high streets and hospitality.