Festive fun at coastal town's 'biggest and best ever' Christmas lights switch-on
PUBLISHED: 10:11 25 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:11 25 November 2018
A "wonderful" seasonal atmosphere attracted one of the biggest crowds "for many years" as festive joy illuminated a coastal town.
Festive songs and carols echoed out as several thousand people turned out for the ever-popular Christmas lights switch-on event in Southwold.
Families flocked to town once more on Saturday – bringing plenty of Christmas cheer to Southwold.
With the theme of the switch-on being Downton Abbey, staff at a number of shops and businesses throughout the town centre decorated their front windows and dressed in a range of outfits befitting British historical period drama film.
With entertainment in the Market Place, there were performances from the St Felix School choir before the Ukes of Southwold - a ukulele band - performed some Christmas songs.
The Wrentham band performed before Father Christmas was led up the High Street alongside five elves as they passed the excited crowds to the Town Hall.
And bringing festive joy to young and old, there were loud cheers as Father Christmas was introduced on the Town Hall balcony before a special countdown as Santa Claus switched the button on with the lights illuminating the town.
Michael Ladd, chairman of the Christmas lights committee, said: “It went very, very well - we had probably one of the biggest crowds seen for many years.
“The weather helped and I would think this is one of the largest switch-ons we’ve had and the biggest crowds we’ve had for a long, long time.
“It is a community event and one that Southwold does so well. We are pleased to put it on as it attracts not just residents but holidaymakers here for the weekend as well and hopefully it does generate an economic benefit as well.”
Mr Ladd added: “I want to give a special thank you to Adnams for sponsoring the event because without them we really wouldn’t be able to do any of this. We have a very dedicated group of local people working to put this community event on, it is difficult, what with the finances and health and safety regulations.
“But this was probably the biggest and best ever. We wanted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and Downton Abbey is very topical with a new film next year.
“With santa claus in his grotto it created a wonderful, seasonal atmosphere for all the family.”
Special guest Miss Suffolk judged the best dressed window in the High Street competition which was won by Mumfords.