Ilkley Town Council took the difficult decision that the annual Christmas light switch-on and parade could not go ahead on Saturday (27 November), due to forecasts of potentially dangerous strong gusting winds at the time of the event, which also led to the earlier cancellation of the market.
Town Mayor Cllr Mark Stidworthy said "we were very sorry that many people will have been disappointed that this joyful traditional Ilkley event was unable to go ahead as planned, particularly the many youngsters who will have been hoping to see Santa. Many people including Town Councillors, staff, volunteers and contractors were involved in the preparations for the day, right up until the last minute, and all were very sad that we were not able to go ahead. I would like to thank them all for their hard work behind the scenes. With so many people involved it will not be possible to rearrange the event at a different time."
Fortunately, Santa has been able to adjust his travel schedule and is delighted that he can instead come along to Canker Well on The Grove (near Mortens) on Sunday 5 December at 2pm.
Mark added: "He is really looking forward to being able to meet some of those who missed him last Saturday, their families and older friends."
Santa's meet and greet will follow the Town Mayor's switching on of a special light feature for this year, the Covid Cube of Remembrance. This is being installed by the town council as a focal point for reflection and remembrance over the Christmas period, and will remain in place over the next few weeks at Canker Well. Covid-19 has affected each of us in the town over the last 2 years, and will continue to do so. Residents and visitors to the town are invited to pause at the cube, and perhaps leave a thought or message.