A right royal Christmas in Southwold attracts hundreds of people as town is lit up in style

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch-on event. Reindeers proved a popular attraction outside the United Reformed Church. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

It was a right royal Christmas in one coastal town as the festive season got into full swing.

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch-on event. The St Felix School choir performed on stage in the Market Place. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

Carols and festive songs echoed out around a busy town centre as hundreds of people turned out for the Christmas lights switch-on event in Southwold.

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch-on event. Staff at the Swan Hotel dress up for the occasion. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

Last year, the popular annual tradition was held on a Saturday for the first time in many years.

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch-on event. Staff at the Mumfords shop dressed up as Royal Mail for the occasion. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

And due to the success of that event, people flocked to town once more – bringing plenty of Christmas cheer to Southwold.

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch

It was a right royal occasion in Southwold as businesses and visitors prepared for the annual switch-on event. Staff at Durrants dressed up for the occasion. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

With the theme of the switch-on being a right royal Christmas, staff at a number of shops and businesses throughout the town centre decorated their front windows and dressed in a range of Royal outfits befitting of the occasion.

Reindeers, which could be found outside the United Reformed Church on the High Street, proved to be a popular attraction as the High Street road was closed from 2pm onwards to enable the police and stewards to clear the traffic.

With entertainment in the Market Place starting at 3pm, there were performances by the St Felix School choir and the Wrentham Band before Father Christmas was led up the High Street and passed the excited crowds to the Town Hall by the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums.

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After Rev Simon Pitcher had conducted prayers, Southwold mayor Melanie Tucker welcomed the crowds and there were loud cheers as Father Christmas was introduced – leading the special countdown before the lights illuminated the town.

After the lights had been switched on, there were joyous renditions of a number of carols, which were accompanied by the Wrentham Band.

Michael Ladd, chairman of the Christmas light committee, said: 'There must have been several hundred people in attendance – with well over 1,000 people in the main square.

'The theme this year was a right royal Christmas and I think everything went off really well.'

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