It was a spectacular night to remember, as a record crowd turned out in Bewdley to be dazzled by the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.
Families were treated to all kinds of entertainment as the town traders and residents kicked off the festive season in style.
There was a hog roast to savour, jugglers to marvel at and hand-tuned organs to listen to as the event started from 2pm on Saturday.
Later in the evening, a parade led by local children dressed as Mary and Joseph and the Three Kings started from Bridge House and made its way to the Guidhall. The Christmas lights – 2,000 bulbs in total – were then switched on by the mayor Linda Candlin and four princesses from the town's carnival.
The lights turn-on was done after a loud count down by the thousands of people.
Organiser Maggie Dalloway said: “The switch-on was, again, another big success – we have record numbers of people turn up, more than five to six thousand.
“It was so packed that people were back standing on the bridge, but it was great. Everyone who came along seemed to have a smile on their face and get in the Christmas spirit.”
Entertainment was also provided on a stage by local groups. Among the performers were Cleobury Mortimer and Bewdley’s Concert Bands, Stourport Choral Society, Dryftwood, Marches Court, Mary Baulk and her puppets, Adrian Kelsey with his juggling display, Zennor School of Dance, Cast Off Appalachian Dancers and organ-playing Dave Mason. There were also about 90 market stalls lining the main route.
But perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came when Father Christmas appeared from a chimney, waving to the crowds of children below.
Mrs Dalloway said: “It really is amazing, the event lights up the whole street, not just with the lights, but the people along it.
“People come from near and far to get to it, I have heard it is getting quite a reputation and we may have to consider changing the layout to bring in more people next year.”
Jay Coles, aged 28, his wife Marie, 27, and their children Kaira, 10, Kelsey, nine, and Holly, three, were there.
Mr Coles, a utility surveyor from Stourport, said: “We come down every year, it is a great way to start off the Christmas season. It is the atmosphere down there, everyone gets excited and there is a real buzz about the place.”
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