Let's celebrate our Dereham lights

“We've got the money. Now we need the spirit” - that is the rallying cry for people to turn up and show their support for Dereham's Christmas switch on tomorrow (Sunday 25th November).

“We've got the money. Now we need the spirit” - that is the rallying cry for people to turn up and show their support for Dereham's Christmas switch on tomorrow.

The event, which very nearly was not, will take place after the lights were saved at the last minute after a lengthy campaign to raise the money.

Dereham Town Council and the Chamber of Trade both gave hefty contributions but not enough to make up the £11,000 needed.

But after an electrician took a pay cut to put up the lights some frenzied fundraising started to ensure the switch on could go ahead.

Societies, individuals and businesses all generously donated and now the total stands at £3,700 and Central Garage at Shipdham kindly contributed 20 new lights.

At first putting on an event for about 5,000 people in less than two weeks was seen as mission impossible. Now with only one day to go and a lot of frantic phone calls almost all preparations are in place.

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However to make the town truly twinkle people need to turn out in their droves to support the cause.

George Hayes, of the Dereham Christmas Lights Partnership, said: “Obviously this has all been a bit hectic. Normally planning the thing takes all year. To do it in such a short space of time is proving very interesting indeed.

“Hopefully people will appreciate it may be a little rough around the edges but we've done our best. It would be lovely for everyone to turn out and see what we've done.

“The Christmas light switch on is all about the community and putting something on for everyone.”

**A programme of entertainment has been planned starting from 2pm and as well as live bands, special guests include Lt Col Angus Watson and RSM Warrant Officer (first class) Shaun Folan from the Swanton Morley based Light Dragoons, the drummers from Janel's Drum School who smashed the world record earlier this year and scouts celebrating their centenary.

*The switch on will take place at 5pm.

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