As lockdown comes to an end this week, Manchester welcomes the festive season with a little help from NHS and social care heroes.
The annual Christmas Light Switch-on event is usually one of the biggest parties of the year attracting thousands of people into the city to start the season with a bang.
The pandemic has meant that the usual event could not go ahead this year, but three NHS workers will have the honour of pushing the button on this year’s lights, who will be joined by some of Manchester’s front-line health and social care workers.
The small, socially distanced event will take place at Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday, 2 December at 6.45pm and will be live on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC North West Tonight and live streamed on social media for people to enjoy safely from home.
Interviews with the NHS staff chosen to switch on this year’s lights will also appear on BBC Breakfast and on social media.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Christmas will finally arrive in Manchester this week after a slightly longer wait than usual. Although the festive season will feel a bit different this year, we still can’t wait to push the button on our Christmas lights with the help of our NHS and social care heroes.
"The Christmas Lights switch-on has always marked the start of Christmas in Manchester and this year will be more important than ever. Christmas is a really important time for the city's businesses and we will be doing everything we can to ensure people can visit the city centre safely and give businesses the support they need."