Major change to Rye Christmas lights

A mock-up of Rye's Christmas lights before organisers found out they could not be hung across the road
A mock-up of Rye's Christmas lights before organisers found out they could not be hung across the road

The Christmas lights in Rye will go along the side of the road instead of across it as organisers cannot afford to fix the faulty brackets.

The Rye Christmas Festival committee found out the High Street brackets were no longer safe to use a month or so ago and does not have the resources to repair them.

So an alternative solution to have the lights hung along the buildings throughtout the town centre was chosen and they will be turned on on December 1.

The festival received a £3,340 grant from the town council last month and a committee spokesman said its limited budget could not stretch far enough.

“The preparations for this year’s festivities however, have not been without challenges,” the spokesman said.

“In particular the lighting of the town.

“Despite a significant donation from Rye Town Council to pay towards the lighting of the outskirts of the town including the train station, the budget for lighting the High Street and surrounding areas started with a budget of £0.

“In addition to this, the committee were informed a month or so ago that the brackets used in the High Street previously to hold the lighting strung across the road were no longer safe or suitable for use.

“This had a major impact on the existing plans for lighting.

“The cost for repair or replacement was far out of reach in such a short time, let alone the cost for an approved company to secure the lights according to health and safety guidelines.”

The organisers were disappointed not to be able to have lights going across the Citadel roads as a central element of the initial pledge was to ‘light up Rye’.

But by informing people about the news instead of letting them find out when they were switched on, the committee believes it limits further disappointment and hopefully encourages further donations.

“The lights will be hanging along the walls rather than stretching across the road and will be up and on by December 1,” the spokesman said.

“This would not be possible without the support of local businesses in the town and numerous volunteers who are going to help prepare and install the lights.

“There are already solutions being discussed for next year and a local businessman has very kindly pledged his help and support in repairing the existing brackets.”

Although disappointed, the committee wanted to focus on the positives of the festival as the ice rink has been booked and the Christmas market is starting to come together.

The festival is on Saturday, December 12, and will include real reindeer, a bucking reindeer bronco and much more.

“The committee are sure that this year’s event on Saturday, December 12, is going to be a massive improvement on previous years and are ready to learn and prepare to keep momentum going for the events in years to come,” the spokesman said.

“It should be noted that the committee is being majoritively run by five local working mums who are doing the best they possibly can.

“However, with young children and full-time work to fit in too it has been a some what of a challenge.

“They would wholly appreciate anyone who would be interested in joining the committee to help them out for future years to make contact with them at .

For more information about the festival visit:

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