Hundreds of people braved the bad weather for north Norfolk’s first Christmas lights switch on tonight.

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The Georgian gem of Holt was packed with visitors, stands and traditional market stalls ahead of the 10 second countdown.

And the honour of flicking the switch on this year was carried out by volunteer first responder Harry Heathfield, who lives near Holt and whose family is closely involved with the Holt community.

Mr Heathfield was in the spotlight this summer when he joined Olympic torchbearers running one of the stages in Cromer on July 4.

Tonight he led the festive procession from the community centre at 5.30pm to warm the town up before the switch-on at 6.45pm.

He said: “This has been another great opportunity for me. Carrying the torch and switching the lights on - they both have their differences - but this time I have had to do a bit of speaking.

“I am dedicating this to my grandparents and my family and everyone who turned out.”

He also praised the work of the town’s community first responders.

The event was organised by Holt Christmas Lights Committee and dozens of volunteers worked hard in preparation for the big

day.

The switch-on supported Holt Scouts.

Holt Town Council mayor Bryan Payne praised the event and said he was “delighted” by the turnout, despite the heavy rain.

“It’s been brilliant and it’s great that so many people turned out,” he said.

“There was a lot of community spirit.”

Other entertainment included Fakenham Town Band, Holt Barber Shop Choir, performers from Cromer pier’s Christmas Seaside Special, the Ukulele Troubadours and the Delightful Elves, and the Gresham’s School choir.

The town will be bathed in the white lights for six weeks for shoppers to enjoy right through the Christmas season. They will be switched on from 3pm each day.

● To see a photo gallery of the event click the link in the top right-hand corner.

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