Soggy shepherds in squelchy sandals mingled with wet Wise Men and other nativity characters at Sheringham’s Saturday switch-on celebrations.

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Rain may have kept some revellers away but the hundreds who stayed were treated to a packed programme of festive fun, organised for the third year by the Open Door Community Art group supported by Sheringham electrician Nicky Royle and his team.

While the nativity characters - members of Sheringham Baptist Church - waited to be spotted in the streets as part of a prize-winning trail, carol singers from Sheringham Primary School, local folk group Red Oktober, town crier Tony Nelson and cast members from Sheringham Little Theatre’s Christmas panto Jack and the Beanstalk all entertained the brolly-bearing crowds from an outdoor stage.

Families defied the worsening weather and queued patiently to see Father Christmas in his Sheringham Town Clock grotto, Salvation Army musicians led carols and, after the switch-on, the crowds followed a candlelit-lantern procession to Lifeboat Plain where there was fire-eating and juggling from Norwich-based entertainment troupe “Tri Fie.R”.

Inside the nearby Oddfellows Hall many sought shelter and browsed among a selection of craft stalls.

Becky Robinson, one of the organising team, thanked those who had turned out to support the event. She added: “It’s a shame about the weather but we can’t control that and it’s all gone well.”

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