Lisa Higginbottom of Brilliant Communities, and Matt McGuiness of Furthest From the Sea had a bright idea a few weeks ago. In the face of the Council cancelling the very popular, annual, Christmas Lights switch on, they decided to rally support from the local community, businesses and individuals to ensure that Derby, and especially its children, still had the opportunity to launch the Festive season in traditional style. The growing crowd was entertained for the 90 minutes prior to the button pressing by music, dance, fire eaters, and the welcome attendance of Santa…and of course, Mrs Santa. The headline act was singer, Dwaine Hayden, who sealed the Christmas mood with a few songs and then did the deed just after 6pm.
There was an excellent turnout, which was surprising given the short notice. Despite the limited time, the whole event was professionally produced, managed and controlled and was a testament to the organisation skills of all involved. There was something particularly uplifting about the fact that it emerged from within the community, and that everyone involved seemed to be determined to make this happen, and not lose one of the few signs of the spirit of Christmas in the City.