It’s time to switch on and get festive in Lowestoft

IT may still be four weeks until Santa makes his deliveries.

But Lowestoft will be bathed in a festive glow tomorrow when the star of this year's Marina Theatre pantomime, Sue Hodge, switches on the town centre's Christmas lights.

All this week preparations have been taking place for the event, with workmen from local contractors Cozens installing all the coloured lights and a special festive market running in the town centre.

Tomorrow afternoon, Sue – who will play Fairy Organic in the panto Jack and the Beanstalk – will be bringing magic and sprinkling fairy dust over audiences as she adds even more sparkle to the festivities.

Lowestoft's main lights switch-on event takes place at 4.30pm, with family entertainment in the town centre during the day.

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Sue, known to many from her role in the TV comedy 'Allo 'Allo, will officially switch on the lights alongside Father Christmas, the Mayor of Lowestoft Tod Sullivan and a number of special guests.

Paul Carter, from Breakfast on The Beach, will be joined by fellow radio presenters Tim Lindon and James Oxley to host music and games from 3.30pm and there will also be live music from Lowestoft girl group Minx.

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And the Beach Bunny and Beach patrols will also be on hand, giving out free reflective stickers to keep children safe this winter.

During the day, the festive market will be open for business in London Road North and from lunchtime free children's fun will take place outside Beales department store. There will also be children's rides and a special pantomime-themed fancy dress competition for children aged under 12.

Christmas in Lowestoft this year has also received a further boost with free parking in town offered by Waveney Norse and Waveney District Council. It means people can park free for the lights switch-on from 4pm tomorrow.

There will be more free parking on offer on Saturdays throughout December – running all day from 10am on Saturday, December 3, December 10 and December 17.

It comes as The Journal seeks to highlight all that is best about where we live as part of our Love Local campaign.

Following the switch-on tomorrow, Sue Hodge will be signing autographs at Palmers department store and, to mark the occasion, the store will be offering an extra 10pc off selected ranges.

Sue said: 'I am so excited to be performing in Jack and The Beanstalk at the Marina Theatre and it is such a great honour to be asked to switch on the town's Christmas Lights. I am hoping to see lots of people at the event and get a chance to meet everyone inside Palmers afterwards. I had a wonderful time when I came to help support the air festival and I do hope some of the lovely people I met then will come along and say hello.'

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