St Mark’s Shopping Centre, Waterside Shopping Centre, and the High Street signalled the start of Christmas last Friday with three light switch-ons, but they created mixed reactions from both the public, and businesses.
The first one happened at 6:30pm outside St Mark’s Shopping Centre, and followed entertainment which started at 4.45pm.
The next lights to be switched on were on the High Street at 7pm, and the last was at Waterside Shopping Centre at 7.45pm
Kate Fenn from the City of Lincoln Council said: “The city works together with Waterside and St Mark’s but they wanted to do their own thing and have a separate switch-on.”
The cost of the event is currently unknown. Kate said that they were working it out, and invoices were still coming through.
She added: “The lights switch-on always has a positive impact on the city, and shops and businesses do well out of it. Thousands of people turned up.”
Sammy Ramsbottom, who was at the switch-on on Friday, described the event: “It was very busy and there were lots of people there which created a good atmosphere.
“There were loads of stalls, and weird, light-up balloon things, too.”
Not everyone welcomed the lights, though – Jonathan Hadleigh, who has been a student at Lincoln for four years, found it underwhelming.
He said: “I have been a student in Lincoln for four years and have yet to be impressed with the lights.
I think they should have a lights switch-on ceremony. Maybe then there would be one worth going to.”
Emma Grabowski, who was at the switch-on as well, agrees with Jonathan, saying: “There was one food stall on the main High Street selling sausages, which was disappointing because I’m a vegetarian.
“If there were others, it wasn’t clear and the guards didn’t point us in the right direction.”
She then said: “The lights switched on and that was it; everyone went home. I’m a first year and was expecting a bit more to be honest.”
As for the impact on businesses, the reactions were mixed.
Alex, a team member at an Apple store in the Waterside Shopping Centre, said: “We had about 2 customers from about 5.30pm to 9.00pm, but this is quite normal for us.”
However, Harry, who works at Vision Express, also commented on the event, saying that he didn’t notice an increase in customers into the shop, but that he did see “A lot of people walking past” and it was “very busy”.
Businesses are looking forward to the Christmas Market next Thursday where 250,000 people are expected to attend.