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Panto stars switch on Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 09:22 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 05 July 2010

PANTOMIME villains Captain Hook and his right hand man Smee made their way through the town centre crowds in Lowestoft to switch on the Christmas lights in surprising style - handcuffed and in a police van.

PANTOMIME villains Captain Hook and his right hand man Smee made their way through the town centre crowds in Lowestoft to switch on the Christmas lights in surprising style - handcuffed and in a police van.

The pirating pair of Ken Farrington and Jamie Rickers, who will take lead roles in the town's first professional pantomime Peter Pan, joined Lowestoft mayor Frank Mortimer on stage in the nick of time for the big countdown.

Crowds of youngsters who gathered outside BHS for the switch-on also got to greet Father Christmas, pet two hay-munching donkeys, which were dressed up as reindeer, and have a go on mini funfair rides.

Jostling shoppers browsed at the gifts on sale and sampled the festive goodies at the Continental Market, while Christmas music added to the festive cheer in the town.

Not to be outdone, The Lowestoft Players were on the streets in full costume to promote their own pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, which will take to the stage in January.

And a surprise announcement revealed that Lowestoft will get a Christmas tree as its festive centrepiece after all.

Last week town centre manager Emma Jones said that problems with vandalism and rising repair costs meant a tree would not go up in Lowestoft this festive season.

But at Saturday's event the mayor promised that a real tree will be put up to replace the damaged artificial version.

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