Santa competition and virtual lights switch-on to spread Christmas cheer in town

Downham Market Town Council is holding a stories with santa competition this Christmas. Picture of p

Downham Market Town Council is holding a stories with santa competition this Christmas. Picture of previous Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Martin Hayes - Credit: Martin Hayes

A Norfolk town council is holding a children’s Santa competition to “boost morale” as the town’s lights are switched on virtually this year.

Volunteers at the Downham Market Christmas Lights LTD have been putting up lights in the town centre

Volunteers at the Downham Market Christmas Lights LTD have been putting up lights in the town centre. Last year's light display. Picture: Jamie Robinson - Credit: Archant

Downham Market Town Council is looking to bring the community “fun, festivity and positivity” this Christmas after the annual celebrations and light switch-on event was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The authority is asking children between the ages of eight and 13 to enter a short story for its ‘Stories with Santa’ competition and is offering winners the chance to have their piece read by the man himself.

Elaine Oliver, town clerk, said: “In these Covid times we felt that people may appreciate something a little different.

“We are hoping that having Santa read stories it will lighten everyone’s day as we look forward to next year and hopefully the end of Covid.

Volunteers at the Downham Market Christmas Lights LTD have been putting up the lights around the tow

Volunteers at the Downham Market Christmas Lights LTD have been putting up the lights around the town centre. Picture: Jamie Robinson - Credit: Archant


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“It is just a small way we have come up with to boost morale and put a smile on people’s faces.”

A spokesperson added: “Throughout December, Santa has promised to read out the winning short stories for all to enjoy on Downham Market Town Council’s website and social media channels.

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“It’s all about the story but make it look amazing too and you could be a winner.”

Despite the town’s cancelled events, Downham Market volunteers have spent weeks putting up this year’s Christmas lights to spread cheer.

Downham Market Christmas Lights LTD with the help of J R Light & Sound will live stream the switch-on next month.

Jamie Robinson, from J R Light & Sound, said: “To prevent a social gathering we are keeping the date a secret, however we will go live approximately 20 minutes before the big count down with some festive music and carols.

“All you need to do to be notified when we go live is follow our Facebook page or J R Light & Sound.”

For those not on Facebook and wanting to access the stream, contact info@jrlightandsound.co.uk

To enter your short story, email info@downhammarkettc.co.uk with your name and age.

Closing date for the competition is midday on November, 27 but the council said submissions after are welcome.

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