Crowds brave cold for Yarmouth Christmas lights switch-on

Crowds last night braved the cold and joined a hearty countdown to see Great Yarmouth Market Place lit up with festive lights.

Panto funnyman Andre Vincent, who will be playing Billy Trott in Norwich Theatre Royal's Jack and the Beanstalk from December 14, joined Yarmouth Mayor Michael Jeal on stage for the big switch-on at 7pm.

Undaunted by gusting winds that led organisers to cancel planned rooftop fireworks at 8pm, families gathered from early evening to watch live entertainment led by Heart FM's breakfast show presenters Rob and Chrissie, although turnout was down on last year.

Yarmouth duo Hannah and Lauren and Tamsin – lead singer of local band Aftershock – performed in the lead-up to the switch-on while four-piece party band Zoo came on afterwards.

Yesterday heralded the start of the Christmas fair, running for five days for the first time.

As well as food and gift stalls in Market Place marquees, there are handicraft stalls and festive entertainment in St Nicholas's Church and a Santa's Grotto and craft workshops in the Priory Centre.

Norwegian choir Lardal Kantori will sing in the church at 7.30pm on Saturday. The 35-strong mixed choir will be arriving on Friday for a concert that has become a traditional part of the Christmas fair. Tickets are available in advance for �7 from The Priory Centre, Priory Plain, or online at www.gytcp.co.uk. Tickets will be available on the door priced �8.