Picture gallery: Christmas lights switch-on at Downham Market

Scenes for Downham Market Christmas lights switch on 2013 - Downham Mayor David Sharman switches on

Scenes for Downham Market Christmas lights switch on 2013 - Downham Mayor David Sharman switches on the lights with Bradley Bingley (8) and Lydia Dimock (8). Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Santa run and Christmas lights get town in festive mood.

Scenes for Downham Market Christmas lights switch on 2013 - Start of the Santa run. Picture: Matthew

Scenes for Downham Market Christmas lights switch on 2013 - Start of the Santa run. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

More than 2,000 gathered to see the lights go on in Downham Market.

'It's marvellous to see a crowd like this,' said David Sharman, the town's mayor, as he welcomed two special helpers to the stage.

Hillcrest Primary School pupils Lydia Dimock and Bradley Bingley, both eight, got to throw the switch as a prize for winning a Hallowe'en treasure hunt, organised by the town's traders.

Downham Chamber of Trade raised the £2,000 to pay for the display around the town centre, which was part-sponsored by the EDP.


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Members have also spent their recent weekends up and down ladders, putting the finishing touches to the lights.

Entertainment began in the afternoon, with Hilgay Brass Band, performances by children from Hillcrest and Clackclose schools and an array of stalls.

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More than 70 runners took part in a Santa Dash in aid of the West Norfolk Dyspraxia Group, sponsored by Downham Jubilee Centre.

Ian Barrett, 38, who works as a life guard at St James's Pool in King's Lynn, won the race on his first attempt.

'It was a bit tough coming up the hill but it was nice to do something different,' he said. 'It's the first time I've ever run in costume. I did have a bit of trouble with ingrowing hair on my beard.'

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