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Gallery: Turning on the lights in Hadleigh

11:24 03 December 2012

Eleanor Broomfield, eight, rings the bell on the train ride at the Hadleigh Lights Switch-On Festival on Sunday.

Eleanor Broomfield, eight, rings the bell on the train ride at the Hadleigh Lights Switch-On Festival on Sunday.

Archant

THERE was a whole afternoon of celebrations in Hadleigh on Sunday as the town prepared for the annual lights switch on.

Hundreds of revellers gathered in the Market Place to watch the official ceremony and enjoy a wide range of Christmas-themed activities, displays and entertainment.

Town mayor Mary Munson performed official lighting up duties at 5.30pm, illuminating the market square and its surrounding ancient buildings in all their festive splendour.

The yuletide mood was heightened by celebratory music ranging from brass bands and choirs to carol singers, while local children took advantage of the chance to drop into Santa’s grotto with their Christmas lists, and feed a carrot or two to his reindeer.

Other delights for youngsters to enjoy included a live nativity scene complete with donkeys and sheep, staged by Churches Together, and a traditional funfair with old-fashioned chairplane rides.

A big craft fair last month organised by the Town Forum entertainments committee raised money to help pay for the Christmas celebrations. Their chairman, Trevor Clarke, said: “The Town Forum is made up entirely of volunteers who work hard all year organising events like the annual craft fairs to enable us to raise enough money to stage bigger and better Christmas celebrations in the town each year.

“This year, around £1,000 of what we raised has been used to get the live reindeer down here for the children to enjoy. There is a great community feel to Hadleigh and events like this show what we can do if we all pitch in and pull together.”

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