Aberaeron business owners say they have been left feeling ‘sad’ and ‘disappointed’ over the lack of Christmas lights put up in the town.

The town council placed a Christmas tree outside the library on Market Street and put lights up around Alban Square, but compared to previous years, many parts of the town have been left in the dark.

Though the Christmas tree itself is on Market Street, there are no Christmas lights along the street. On top of that, the Christmas lights in Alban Square have been kept switched off after a nearby transformer was vandalised.

Aberaeron Christmas
Business owners say they are disappointed by the lack of Christmas lights in Aberaeron (Cambrian News)

The lack of Christmas lights has led many business owners to complain, claiming it is impacting sales and ruining the festive atmosphere in the town.

One business owner said: “If you’d travelled here to see our Christmas lights, you’d be going home disappointed.”

Another said: “It’s quite sad to think about. The Christmas lights have been put up in Aberaeron for many years.

“This is the first time I’ve seen it look so different this time of the year.”

One business owner asked: “How come we’re the only town around that does not have Christmas lights? Lampeter, Aberystwyth and other towns have stunning Christmas lights.”

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A lack of festive spirit in Aberaeron (Cambrian News)

The owner also mentioned that the only reason Christmas trees have been put up in the flagpoles outside of shops, is because local business owners pleaded for them to be put in at a meeting with council members.

“Businesses in Aberaeron have always put Christmas trees in the flagpoles on some of our shops, but we were only allowed to do that after a meeting with the town council,” one owner said.

“The shops had to organise it themselves, and only after the meeting did the council say they would pay for the trees to be put up.

“They didn’t pay for the trees themselves.

“If local businesses didn’t have that meeting, absolutely nothing would have been done.”

Though there were more Christmas lights in Aberaeron last year, businesses still found themselves facing complaints from visitors at the lack of lights in the town.

One store owner said: “We opened late last year during the Christmas lights switch on, but we got many complaints from visitors over how dark the town was.

“This year, a few businesses didn’t even open late for the switch-on.”

Aberaeron Christmas
A solitary Christmas tree in the town (Cambrian News)

Another business owner echoed these feelings, saying: “It’s affecting our sales. Aberaeron’s such a pretty town, it’s a shame to see the council doing nothing.”

One business owner said: “There are three ways into Aberaeron, not one of them welcomes anybody in with anything remotely resembling Christmas lights – there’s nothing. It makes our job as businesses much harder.

“It’s a real shame, because in the past, the Christmas lights in town used to be so much better.”

Aberaeron Town Council, which did not respond with comment in time for publication, agreed at a meeting earlier this year to only have lights on the Christmas tree and two columns on Alban Square due to budget constraints.

The council agreed, however, to “start arrangements for implementing the Market Street and Pwllcam lights in readiness for Christmas 2024”.