PHOTO GALLERY: Thousands turn out to Wymondham Christmas lights switch-on

Father Christmas made an early appearance in Wymondham tonight to help turn on the town's festive lights.

Thousands of people gathered in Market Place to cheer on the jolly fellow as he joined President of Wymondham Lions Club Derek Fripp and Town Mayor Neil Ward in flicking the magic switch.

The festivities began shortly after 6pm as the group arrived by a horse drawn carriage and tinsel-covered sleigh, led by the City of Norwich Pipe Band.

Entertainment then continued throughout the evening with children's fair rides and visitors were able to browse a collection of charity and trade stalls, while a number of shops stayed open late for the special evening.

New store Savers, which has moved into the former Somerfield store in Market Street, also hosted its grand opening during the night.

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Father Christmas retired to his grotto in Whartons Court to greet the town's boys and girls, where a ladies barbershop quarter also performed to the crowds.

Meanwhile families were able to say hello to a group of reindeer, who were relaxing in Fairland Street before heading off to make their preparations for this year's Christmas deliveries.

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Wymondham Arts Centre, in Church Street, also hosted an evening of music and crafts.

The town's Christmas extravaganza has been organised by the Lions Club for more than 20 years.

Mr Fripp said: 'Thousands of people have turned up. I think there are as many people here as I have ever seen. Last year was very, very cold so we had a slightly smaller number.

'I want to thank the people of Wymondham who have turned out and hope they have enjoyed it.'

The event was called Dickensian Evening and residents were encouraged to come dressed in Victorian costumes. But with fewer people taking part, the Lions Club decided to rename the evening Wymondham Christmas Fayre.

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