The switch-on of Redcar High Street's Christmas lights was a victim of yesterday's galeforce storms.
Redcar's Town Centre Manager John Partridge took the decision to cancel the event, which included performances from talent contest winners and Santa's parade, at lunchtime when the high winds prevented organisers from erecting the main stage in front of the Town Clock.
He explained: "We were concerned about the safety of people gathering in the High Street and bringing the parade down to an area that was getting increasingly stormy. It seemed to be the focus of very strong winds."
Redcar and Cleveland Council's Mayor Councillor Mary Ovens had been looking forward to her civic duty of switching on the illuminations. She said: "I'm extremely disappointed, but given the dreadful weather, it would have been completely unsafe."
Mr Partridge added: "A lot of people had put a lot of time and effort into planning the afternoon and we're particularly disappointed for the winners of our Talent 2006 competition who have been prevented from performing."
The lights are now in operation and Santa's Grotto, open for the first time today, Monday, December 4, will now be open every weekday afternoon from 12.30pm-2.30pm, Saturdays from 10.30am-3.30pm and Sundays from 1pm-3pm. Admission, which includes a gift from Santa, is £1.