Christmas lights switch-on events in Downham Market, Hunstanton, Dereham and Watton

Hillcrest school choir perform at the Downham Christmas light switch-on. Picture: John Fox

Hillcrest school choir perform at the Downham Christmas light switch-on. Picture: John Fox - Credit: Archant

Thousands of people packed town centres across the county today for the traditional Christmas lights switch-on events.

John Fox, Downham Market town councillor, said: 'Choirs from both Downham Academy and Hillcrest school entertained the crowds before Crazy Bananas, a clown, outlined the Christmas story with fun and giant balloon characters.

'The lights were switched-on by Trixi-lei Castleton and Joshua Adams-Rose, who were winners of the recent Halloween fancy dress competition. Trixi-lei and Joshua were assisted by Alistair Cox, compere for the afternoon, the deputy town mayor Frank Daymond and the Town Crier Ray Wales.

About 2000 people packed into Dereham Market Place to see the town's Christmas lights switched-on.

Dereham Mayor Phillip Duigan, who switched on the lights with Carnival mascot Biscuit, said: 'It went very well, and everybody seemed to enjoy it.'

The red, white and blue-themed Christmas lights were installed by Roger Atterwill, a member of Dereham Business Forum and owner of Wensum Valley Electrical. He said: 'Thanks to the fundraising there are about 25pc more lights this year.'

The Christmas lights switch-on in Watton was the culmination of an afternoon of entertainment including a Santa's Grotto, funfair rides and carol singing on the High Street.

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There were also performances from the Dereham Town Band and City of Norwich Pipe Band.

Town mayor Beryl Bunning said: 'It was absolutely fantastic. The town was packed and the entertainers were great. Father Christmas had a queue to see him as long as your arm, and there was a great atmosphere.'

The Green in Hunstanton played host to the Christmas lights switch-on. The Hunstanton Christmas Cracker was a day of family fun, which included stalls inside the town hall and fairground rides, games and carol singing in the streets.

Michael Ruston, Secretary to Hunstanton Chamber of Trade, said the event was well-attended and popular.

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