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Knaresborough to offer 'brighter' alternative to Black Friday

Knaresborough to offer 'brighter' alternative to Black Friday

Published at 7:01am 6th November 2016. (Updated at 12:46pm 7th November 2016)

A town in North Yorkshire is hoping to provide an antidote to Black Friday in the run-up to Christmas.

Knaresborough is bringing forward its Christmas tree lights switch-on event to coincide with what's become one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Instead of, what organisers say, are some of the worst aspects of consumerism, this year the town will celebrate 'Bright Friday' on 25 November, to reflect the true meaning of Christmas.

The celebrations will include a new lantern parade from the war memorial at the castle to the Christmas tree in the Market Place.

Its light will symbolically light the tree.

Councillor Hannah Gostlow, who is helping to organise the switch-on, said: "We wanted to create an event that was an antidote to the negative aspects of Black Friday. We want people to come to Knaresborough and get involved with the Christmas spirit."

As well as the parade, there will be Santa and his sleigh, Knaresborough Silver Band, performances by Studio 3 Dance Workshop and carol singing by Knaresborough Choral Society.

There will be mulled wine and local shops will stay open on the evening to allow people to do a bit of early Christmas shopping whilst supporting the local economy.

There will also be food stalls featuring a range of street food from around the world on the evening.

Steve Teggin, from Knaresborough Chamber, said: "We are delighted the event is taking place a week earlier than usual this year to bring the festivities to Knaresborough around the same time they start in other towns.

"I am pleased so many of our members will be opening so residents and visitors can see what their businesses have to offer." 

Local community, church and nursery groups will be holding lantern-making workshops for children in the parade. 

Reverend Gail Hunt, from Gracious Street Methodist Church, said: "The image of light has always been a very powerful one for the Christian Church and the lantern procession is a wonderful way for the town to reflect on the light of hope and love and joy which we celebrate at Christmas.

"The light of Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness can never put it out."

The actual turning on of the Christmas tree lights is scheduled for 6.30pm on Friday 25 November.