March 16 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 6, 2013
The night was cold but the sparkling festive lights above Sheringham’s shopping streets cast a warm glow across scores of people who turned out tonight to watch the big switch on.
Families and friends gathered in High Street to watch as magician Roy Davenport led the count down before thousands of fairy lights sprung into action.
Shops were open late for the annual Christmas event, with many bringing stalls outside to sell hot drinks, mulled wine and tasty snacks.
Traders inside The Courtyard shopping arcade turned their string of businesses into Narnia and dressed up as characters from the famous books.
Mark Ashby, part owner of Trash and Treasure vintage store, dazzled passers by as the Snow Queen.
Mr Ashby said he and his fellow traders had spent two weeks planning their theme for the night and it had been greatly received by visitors and shoppers.
“The Christmas lights are a big part of Sheringham,” he added. “So much goes on in the summer here and then it gets quieter for winter, so it’s lovely to have something in the middle that people can come out for and enjoy.
“It’s a nice atmosphere.”
Before the switch on crowds were entertained with dance displays, a pair of pirates and entertainment from the cast of Snow White - this year’s panto at Sheringham Little Theatre - while youngsters got to meet Santa in his grotto.
Robert Cook and Sarah Hill, from Norfolk Road, brought children Kieran, nine, Cameron, six, and Summer, 22 months, to the switch on.
Mr Cook said: “The kids love it and it supports the town. It brings everybody together and you see people you haven’t seen for a while.”
A torch lit parade made its way down Station Road before youngsters carrying lanterns assembled on the stage to sing traditional carols.
The flip was switched at exactly before 7pm as the crowd then joined in with the countdown.
Mr Davenport thrilled the crowds with more magic - including a trick involving town mayor Doug Smith - to finish off the evening.
Graham Deans, event manager with Sheringham Carnival that organised the festivities, said the evening had been a “great success”.
“We have had quite a few favourable comments about the lights making the town a lot brighter,” he added. “And hopefully a lot busier for the Christmas period, so people will actually come and look at them.”