Cape Town’s annual Festival of Lights cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Due to the deadly Coronavirus, revellers this year won’t be able to witness the festive lights being switched on, bringing Adderley Street to life.

Christmas lights, festive season. Image: Pexels

CAPE TOWN – Scores of Capetonians will have to find a new way to ring in the festive season this year.

The City of Cape Town has cancelled the annual festive lights switch-on event for 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The iconic, free, open-air event that sets the tone for festive season celebrations in the Mother City annually last year marked its 50th anniversary.

At the start of December every year, the sound of one of the Mother City’s most popular anthems (Welcome to Cape Town) fills the streets as about a hundred thousand people descend on the Cape Town CBD for the annual switching on of the lights.

Some families even camp out along pavements overnight to ensure they have the best seat in the house to enjoy a free concert, as they usher in the festive season and the summer holiday period.

But due to the deadly Coronavirus, revellers this year will not be able to witness the festive lights being switched on, bringing Adderley Street to life.

The City’s JP Smith says it was important to pause the event for the safety of all involved, in light of the pandemic and the extension of the National Disaster Management Act restrictions impacting the number of people allowed at public gatherings.

He says the municipality is also trying to cut down on spending, given the adverse impact the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had on the economy.

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