CHRISTMAS in Winchester is still very much on the cards – but the preparations are being kept under wraps.

The tree will be in its usual spot in the High Street and the lights, which are already in place, will be switched on.

But there will not be a torch-lit procession through the city, the annual fireworks have been cancelled, and a local hero will not be pushing the big red button in front of thousands.

Sarah Davis, projects manager at Winchester BID, said she cannot tell people when the lights are set to be illuminated.

She told a BID forum: "The lights will be done when they are done, I can't tell you exactly when because we are not allowed to incite massive crowds. Last year, 20,000 stood in the High Street to watch them come on.

"Christmas in Winchester is still happening though, although it will be very different. It's a big project for me and I absolutely love it.

"Of course the High Street will be much calmer this year, meaning the locals can enjoy it without feeling crammed in and rushed around."

The BID will be filming 'festive footage' throughout November and December.

There will also be a mulled wine trail for adults, and a nutcracker trail for families to complete with a chance to win prizes.

"We have a 38ft tree this year, which isn't quite as big as normal but I assure you it will be looking lovely," added Sarah.

"Christmas in Winchester will probably start in around three weeks time, and we can't wait. Happy Christmas."