There were claps and cheers when Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie made Thetford twinkle as they switched the Christmas lights on.

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The pantomime stars helped to light up the town after the cast performed two songs on stage in King Street on this evening.

Father Christmas then arrived on his float and paraded though town before going to his grotto where there was a reindeer and an owl.

Children could also see other animals including swans, rabbits, sheep, goats and turkeys.

Claire Harvey, 28, who lives in Thetford, watched the spectacular with her son, Aaron, three.

“He absolutely love it,” she said. “The lights look great. My arms ache because he wanted to see everything and he wanted me to lift him up. He really liked seeing the animals, especially the reindeer but his favourite part was when he saw Father Christmas.”

The evening will also include live goats, sheep, miniature ponies, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and rabbits.

Acting town clerk, Susan Glossop, said she was delighted with how the evening had turned out.

“We have been organising it since March. This year we decided to have more animals and we have let Thetford players do much more on the stage. It was very enjoyable.

“We are a very young town and the people of Thetford love Christmas.”

She said there was a good atmosphere and thanked everyone who had worked to make the evening a success.

People also had the chance to start their Christmas shopping with a number of charity stalls and a local market.

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