ONLY A FEW DAYS TO GO UNTIL SANTA ARRIVES IN WICKFORD!
The countdown has begun……only 3 DAYS to go until Father Christmas pays a visit to the Wickford At Christmas Street Fair on 26th November.
He has had a busy week getting everything ready for his trip. He is pleased to report that his sleigh has just passed its annual MOT (with ‘flying colours’ of course!) and his reindeers are chomping at the bit in readiness for their long journey to Wickford.
Santa’s travel expenses from the North Pole are being covered by Bourn Hall Clinic which is delighted to be helping to sprinkle some early Christmas magic over Wickford. Christmas is all about families and can be particularly difficult for those struggling to conceive. With the success of Bourn Hall’s small satellite clinic in Wickford and building work progressing well on its new purpose-built fertility clinic on London Road (set to open in early 2018) it is fast becoming an integral part of the local community.
Santa is looking forward to meeting the countless excited children and their families who are expected to visit him in his grotto at Eye Care (D.Glick) Opticians.
See you all there!
A Few Financial Facts About Our Town Lights and Christmas Event
We are a group of volunteers, we give up a large amount of our time throughout the whole year to put the event together and also have to work with ECC, Basildon Council, Local businesses and many contractors just to get the lights put up.
We wanted to take this opportunity to be open and transparent so you can all see the kind of costs that go into this, sadly there isn’t a large pot of money just for the Christmas lights, and we thank all the public that has so far donated.
Did you know that Wickford at Christmas was only formed in 2016? It was formed to keep the lights up year on year and hopefully with funds improve on them.
As a new community group, we had nothing in the money pot and knew we had a big task on our hands.
In 2016 we brought in £8,346.83 through donations, sponsorship, programme adverts, raffle tickets, etc. On the day of the Christmas fair we had an estimated 5000 people attend throughout the day, we also took £2,376.05 on the day itself in our collection buckets.
The cost of the 2016 event was £4691.69 which left us at the end of our first year with £3655.14. This has been carried over into 2017.
The cost of installing, running and removal of the 2016 lights was kindly covered by the now disbanded ‘Light Up Wickford’
Fast forward to 2017….
We started the year with £3,655.14 in the bank and so far in sponsorship, donations, stall and advert costs we have brought in £11,266.35
This year the event has grown and we have added more for the public to enjoy on the day, we hope to draw in more people this year. The event has cost £7883.91 to put on this year.
The cost of installing, running and the removal of the lights in Wickford is £4048, minus a £1000 donation from Basildon Council towards the costs.
Looking towards 2018…
The committee would absolutely love to have Christmas lights like Regent and Oxford Street, but they have budgets in the millions. Something we are not gifted with.
If we wanted new lights on the light columns these cost in the region of £200+ per fitting, and for a cross street display is upwards of £1000. With these kinds of costs, you can see why improving them is not going to happen within one year.
We hope to improve on our funds enough to allow some major improvements to the lights in 2018 along with an official switch on. But this is only possible with everyone working together and donating towards the lights.
There are roughly 23,000 adults in Wickford, if each one of them gave a £1, think what could be achieved!
Please remember, as well as all the great local businesses that have sponsored the event, without them none of this would be happening and the town would have NO lights.
We have a very special guest coming to our Street Fair on Sunday. Please put your hands together and welcome “The Timeless” Princess who will be the ‘Belle’ of the ball!
We would like to say a big thanks to Happy Ever Laughter who are donating their time to the fair and entertaining all the princes and princess at the fair.
We are working with the Vdub Taven to bring you an amazing competition!
You have the chance to win 4 cocktails for you and 3 friends when you like our Facebook Page and 3 friends in the competition post.
Big thank you goes out to the Vdub team!
A Christmas sing along as it turns to dusk?
Why not! We are so happy to be working with the Wickford Churches to help run a Christmas songs sing along on the main stage from 3:45pm. Come, join in and sing some well-known family favourites, while jingling all the way to see the lights at their best!
Wickford, we are becoming a united front!
More lovely sponsors are coming to our aid and includes Wickford Voluntary Service, Tina Wing Photography, Razzamataz Stage School, Westways Travel, Cowling & Payne and of course the brilliant Women of Wickford who have been fundraising on our behalf.
We have had a message from Santa to say that he will be coming to the event to see all the good boys and girls.
He is working with Eye Care (D.Glicks) To create a home from home grotto, while his reindeer make a stop in the Ladygate Centre.