Great Yarmouth turns into a winter wonderland as ice rink is launched

Children, teachers and parents from St George's Primary school trying out the real ice rink which is

Children, teachers and parents from St George's Primary school trying out the real ice rink which is opening to the public on Friday in Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Children from St George's Infant School were the first to master the slippy art of ice skating on Great Yarmouth's real ice rink.

The gleeful youngsters took to the ice yesterday scooting around supported by penguins and enjoying sledging fun in the Market Place, as the rink was revealed to the public for the first time.

The attraction is being billed as the centrepiece of the town's Christmas set-up, alongside the three-day Christmas fayre and tonight's lights switch-on and fireworks.

The pupils were picked as the first to test their skating skills after making poppies for the petal parade at the town's Remembrance Festival.

Melodie Fearns, headteacher at St George's Infant School, said: 'We had one or two children who were very scared when they first took to the ice, but they started building their confidence and at the end they were having lots of fun and were gliding down the ice.

'We brought a select few of the older pupils from the school to come along and they were so excited to be the first ones to actually test it out, and even us teachers and parents that came along were making the most of it.

'I am sure they will be coming back, it is a great attraction to have in the town over the festive period.'

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The rink will be open to the public today from noon until 8pm and with the exception of Christmas Day, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is opening the attraction daily until Sunday, January 3.

In addition to the traditional festive food and stalls at the Christmas Fayre which opens today, there will be a wide range of musical entertainment throughout the weekend and a whole host of new attractions including a giant snow globe photo booth.

The Christmas lights switch-on starts at 6pm tonight when Santa will come to town accompanied by the Crystalette Twirlers and cast members of Cinderella from St George's Theatre.

The skies will then be lit up with a fireworks display at 7pm.

The Santa Express will run a free shuttle service for shoppers from 10am until 4pm each day between the Market Place and the Minster.

Tomorrow, at 7.30pm, the Minster will hold a Norwegian Christmas carol concert by the 40-strong Lardal Kantori choir.

Doors will open at 7pm and entry is £10 per person, which includes a post-concert buffet.

Finally, the closing parade on Sunday will start in front of River Island at 3.30pm, arriving at Great Yarmouth Minster at 3.45pm for the closing ceremony, featuring a performance from the Lardal Kantori choir.

For further details about this weekend's festivities visit www.great-yarmouth.co.uk/gyChristmas