PEOPLE in Ilkley are being urged to share their “Christmas sparkle” and illuminate the town as the festive season approaches.

On Saturday, November 21 the town council will be launching the Ilkley Christmas Light Switch On - which this year will take place online. It is also running two different Christmas Competitions to add to the virtual magic and to encourage young and old alike to get involved from home .

A spokesman for “Team Sparkle” said: “As Ilkley is such a special community, we are asking you to get involved and share your sparkle with others in the town by entering our competition and bringing seasonal joy to everyone.

The first competition is for children up to the age of 11. They are being asked to design and make a homemade Christmas decoration and then send or share a photograph of it. They should use the hashtag #IlluminateIlkley to enter via Facebook or Instagram or send to

The second competition is open to all.

The spokesman said: “We invite and encourage you and your family members to decorate your home for the festive season as normal and share your very own Christmas Light Countdown and Switch On with the rest of Ilkley.

“To enter this competition, all you need to do is record your very own ten second Christmas Light Countdown and share the video via Instagram or Facebook using #IlluminateIlkley or send to Winners will be announced week commencing 14th of December. In the meantime we will share our favourite entries on social media.

“Both competitions will close on Friday 11th December with winners announced the following week. Be safe, stay at home, and please do get involved.”

In April Ilkley Town Council promised that despite Covid-19 it would be exploring ways to bring the sparkle and joy to Ilkley this Christmas.

Last week Cllr Jennifer Souter said: “We had hoped that by now life would be returning to some form of normality and we would once more be able to invite you to join us on The Grove to await the arrival of Father Christmas to switch on the Town’s Christmas lights. Sadly, we cannot do this. The Council is moving with the times and our Christmas lights ‘switch-on’ is coming to you in the comfort of your own home.”

She added: “We want you to join the countdown fun and share your home ‘switch-on’ experience as we all illuminate Ilkley together. It’s simple. Prepare your lights, record your countdown and share on social media. Winners will be selected and prizes awarded for the best entries.”

She added: “Join us on Saturday 21st November at 5pm as we switch on the lights together and illuminate Ilkley.”