Festive treats in store with Christmas light switch-on events across Lowestoft and Southwold

Lowestoft 2015 Christmas light Switch on

Lowestoft 2015 Christmas light Switch on - Credit: Nick Butcher

The countdown to Christmas starts in Lowestoft this weekend with the town's big festive lights switch-on.

Lowestoft 2015 Christmas light Switch on

Lowestoft 2015 Christmas light Switch on - Credit: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Vision, the town's Business Improvement District (BID), is running a competition with Beach Radio for a family or member of the public to help turn on the lights on Saturday, November 19.

To enter, you just have to find the four Elves on the shelves in shops between 3pm and 4pm.

Entry forms will be available from The Beach Patrol, which will be located at the stage in the town. Entry forms must be handed into the stage by 4pm when a winner will be selected at random.

The competition winners will be joined on stage at 5pm to turn on the lights with Paul Carter, Tim Lindon and Mikey Faulkner from The Beach, mayor Lowestoft Nick Webb and Father Christmas.

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Darren Newman, Lowestoft Vision BID manager, said: 'The Christmas lights switch-on is always a great event in the town with a wonderfully festive atmosphere.

'Businesses felt it would be a nice opportunity if a member of the public was able to turn on the Christmas lights. We hope everyone enjoys the competition and this unique opportunity to turn on the town's festive lights'.

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Live stage entertainment will begin from 3pm in the town centre with The Beach and throughout the day, a Christmas funfair will be in town. Christmas carols and songs from the DPA show choir will be performed at 3.10pm while the Lowestoft Players will perform part of their Christmas Spectacular at 3.40pm. The final stage act will be James TW whose latest single 'When you love someone' has been playing on The Beach.

Parking in the town centre will be free of charge from 2pm tomorrow, thanks to Lowestoft Vision in partnership with Waveney District Council. Following the lights switch-on, shops in the town will be open until 6.30pm.

Waveney District Council's cabinet member for operational partnerships, Stephen Ardley, said: 'We are delighted to once again be working in conjunction with Lowestoft Vision to provide sponsored car parking on November 19. We hope this will encourage even more people to visit the town for the Christmas lights event and support our local businesses.'

Free parking will also continue all day on Sundays and after 3pm on Wednesdays in multi-storey car parks.

Mr Newman added: 'Christmas is an important time of year in the retail sector and Lowestoft Vision is committed to delivering a wide range of projects on behalf of businesses that attract people into town.'

A series of festive events will also take place in Lowestoft in December, including the fairytale parade on December 10 and a new late night event on December 21.

The festive season in Southwold will be marked next weekend, with the annual Christmas lights switch-on at the town's Market Place at 5pm on Saturday, November 26.

From 3pm the High Street will be closed and there will be stalls, choirs, balloon modelling and reindeer – with Santa arriving in the Market Place on his sleigh to switch on the lights at 5pm.

A three-day festive event is being held in Kirkley, with shops opening until 8pm on Thursday and Friday, December 1 and December 2. Crafts, gifts, special offers, festive foods, competitions, demonstrations and entertainment aplenty is planned. Between 11am and 4pm on Saturday, December 3, further events are planned including the launch of a competition by the Kirkley Business Association, which runs throughout December, for the public to vote for the best decorated street tree in a trail around Kirkley.

Wendy Dalton, KBA chairman, said: 'We believe that Christmas starts on December 1 – so let's celebrate it all.'

The annual Christmas lights switch-on event in Reydon is held at 6pm on December 3, with carol singing, festive songs, the Blessing of the Crib and the switch-on taking place at Reydon Corner. ? Are you going to any festive lights switch-on events? Send your photos to lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk

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