Christmas Lights in Stafford will be special time

Date: 13 Nov, 2017

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Thousands of people are expected to be in the centre of Stafford at the weekend when the Christmas Lights are switched on.

On Saturday members of Special Olympics Stafford will be doing the honours in what is seen as the traditional countdown to the big day.

The young people including athletes, coach and an international figure skater will be following in the footsteps of previous local heroes who have illuminated the sky above the county town.

Last year Rio gold medal winning canoeist Joe Clarke performed the switch on. The late Don Gray, survivor of the treacherous World War ll ‘Arctic Convoys’ did the honours in 2014 and six time Olympian Alison Williamson, the former archery world number one, joined fellow Olympic torchbearers to light up the sky in 2012.

And on Saturday 15 year old volunteer coach Mia Sharrat, local athletes Jordan Wright, aged 20, 19 year old Chelsea Biddulph, and Sam Caswell aged 18, figure skater Cameron Sargent, and head coach, Clive Gibson, will be joining the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Aidan Godfrey, on stage.

The day kicks off from 2pm with street theatre, amusements and an old school Christmas disco before the afternoon becomes a tribute to the 80s with a live musical show from ‘Now that’s What I Call 80’s’. The lights will be turned on at 5pm, triggering the launch of thousands of fireworks from the top of the Guildhall Shopping Centre, before the group come back on stage to do another 45 minute set.

Clive started Special Olympics Stafford in 2002 and now has 30 athletes taking part regularly. He is a former Sport Stafford Borough Coach of the Year.

Clive said: “We were so delighted to be asked to turn on the Christmas lights in our town. It is such an honour and I hope recognition of the hard work these young people put in to overcome their difficulties and compete on a national, and international, stage.”

Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the Borough Council, said: “Each year we have real heroes from our own community to do the honour of turning on the Christmas lights and this year is no exception.

“You just have to admire the never give up attitude of these young people as well as the love and dedication Clive has put in to help them achieve their potential.

“I know this will be another tremendous day with thousands flocking to the centre of town for great music, fireworks and to see our inspirational young sports people.”

For more details about the day www.staffordbc.gov.uk/christmas and if you want to find out more about the Special Olympics go to www.specialolympics.org. The Stafford group also have a Facebook page - Special Olympics Stafford.


                        

Press Release No 5398

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