There may be no carnival again - but that won't dampen spirits as Christmas plans are unveiled

Christmas lights

Christmas lights in Fleet Street - Credit: Submitted

Christmas is coming to Torquay.

Plans have been unveiled for the coming festive season in the town centre.

There will still  be no floats and parade but the Torquay Town Centre Partnership  and Torbay Display have worked through the past year on the plans to enhance and add to last year's show to bring the full Christmas spirit to the retailers and shoppers during the months of November and December . As in previous years , there will be new schemes visually to freshen up the streets.

Christmas illuminations are due to be erected throughout Torquay during the last week of October in half term week . After last year’s lockdown periods, this year it's back to following the annual diary. Switch on day is planned for Saturday November 20.

It is thanks to the Torquay Town Centre Partnership's outdoor market in lower Union Street throughout the year which generates income to pay for the annual lighting show .

The partnership has also acknowledged a kind donation from Torbay Council and Conroy Couch Jewellers and has thanked the Torquay Chamber of Commerce for the use of some of the town’s catinery wires .

November 20 also sees the opening of the Rotary's Fleet Walk Christmas Grotto, now celebrating its 31st year, upstairs at the Fleet Walk Shopping Centre . This traditional fundraiser will run every Saturday and Sunday , then the whole week before Christmas - December 16 to 24.

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The outdoor market will also have a special Christmas market during that same week in the run up to Christmas , with plenty of live entertainment.

As last year, during December /Advent, Torbay Churches will have a full life size tableau of the Nativity scene and a stall at the market for shoppers to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Torbay Display's Stephen Holdup said: "Christmas has always been very much a big part of my professional working life with Torbay Display.

"I and my team plan a year ahead. Whether it’s the illuminations or for Father Christmas, we stretch the imagination to deliver, none more so than the Grotto, This year’s theme is Funfair and Circus. Like last year the Grotto will operate an online booking system, with Eventbrite.co.uk, and will follow Covid guidelines.

"The generations of people return year after year in their thousands and their loyalty is very much appreciated in the charity collections . Sunrise and Tormohun Rotary deal with the daily run of events .

"Sadly , Mike Bailey (procession and parade organiser)  and I have to announce as it was last year that there will be no carnival this year .

"With all our lives still dealing with the aftermath of Covid , there have been no carnival floats built anywhere in the Westcountry. We have no content . We ran the annual carnival spectacle for 29 years and then along came the Pandemic.

"Fingers crossed for 2022."

He added: "Finally a big thank you to the Town Partnership who believed in the whole Christmas project , and wanting to simply make it happen …….and subsequently put on a show for all of retail to enjoy and benefit from."