December 10 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Ely’s annual Christmas light spectacular is in danger of becoming a festive flop this year unless more sponsors come forward and support the event.
Organiser Ian Newstead has faced a yearly battle to pull the event off since it began eight years ago but says he has about £200 in the kitty so far this year, with less than three months to go and more than £5,000 required to make the event a success.
The switch-on is due to take place on November 29 this year.
Held in Ely’s Market Place, it regularly attracts more than 6,000 people into the city and features everything from bus tours to stalls, hog roasts, live nativities and a host of music and dance acts.
Mr Newstead said: “I will pull this event off one way or another because I always do but we really need the support of sponsors to help us do it justice. People think that we get money from the council but that isn’t the case, they give us support but no money. I have to raise the funds by myself.
“When I first started doing this eight years ago we had just a few carol singers around a Christmas tree but it has steadily grown over the years into something that brings thousands of people into Ely and I want to keep that going.
“If businesses can give £150 towards the event that would make a huge difference and they would get their name on the radio in the run up to the event as part of it.”
Mr Newstead said he has acts already lined up to take part in the switch-on, including a former X Factor contestant and plenty of local acts.
Simon Cowell’s protégés the Loveable Rogues headlined last year’s switch-on.
The group, who came fourth in 2011’s Britain’s Got Talent competition, performed on stage before switching on the lights at the city’s annual festive event.
The musical trio, made up of Eddie Brett, Sonny Jay and Té Eugene Qhairo, are signed to Cowell’s record label Syco.
Previous years have seen X Factor finalists Same Difference perform and 2010 saw five-piece vocal group The Overtones wow the crowds.
Contact Mr Newstead on 07725 070734 if you can help.