By Gülsüm Bölük, Fatou Coulibaly, Sam Sorabjee, and Sara Valle-Martínez
Nag’s Head business owners in Holloway feel disconnected from the upcoming community Christmas event to be held this weekend.
Islington Council announced yesterday that a Festive Lights Event will take place in Nag’s Head Marketon Saturday, November 19, with Islington’s Mayor, Marian Spall, switching on the Christmas lights.
Councillor Santiago Bell-Bradford said: “The festive period is the perfect time to take advantage of Islington’s wonderful high streets and town centres.”
“Shopping locally is so important for our economy – every pound spent at a small business is worth three times more to the local economy than spending money at a chain, helping us to make Islington a more equal place,” he added in an Islington Council press release yesterday.
But local businesses think the Christmas festivities won’t have an effect on their sales.
Georgina George, 47, owner of Gina George Creation Station, a jewellery stall in Nag’s Head, said that she doubts that the Festive Lights Event will draw in customers.
“It always happens here at the very last minute, so the last week [before Christmas] gets really busy. But there’s not much difference. Even if you have a busy week, it doesn’t work. It’s not for us,” she said.
The event will include a DJ, a Christmas crooner and a Drum Works and local school choir performances, as well as activities such as face painting and free mince pies and other refreshments.
Ismail Gamcekmez, 48, owner of a sweets and snacks stall said: “The event makes us excited but it does not affect our sales. Kids are not interested in what we sell, they prefer toys.”
Preparations for the advertised event have not started, with no decorations or advertisement on display four days before the event.