Ipswich town centre lit up for late-night Christmas shopping over the years

The Grimwades store, which closed in 1996, was illuminated in 1987

The Grimwades store in Ipswich, which closed in 1996, was illuminated in 1987 - Credit: Archant

Ipswich town centre streets have been illuminated in bright lights for late-night Christmas shopping over the years with swarms of shoppers using the evening hours to buy their presents.

Santa Claus was out to find out what the children wanted for Christmas in 1983

Santa Claus was out to find out what the children wanted for Christmas in 1983 - Credit: Archant

The first of the traditional extended evening shopping event is being held tonight, and run every Thursday up to the big day.

Shoppers take to the streets after the Christmas lights switch-on in 1994

Shoppers take to the streets after the Christmas lights switch-on in 1994 - Credit: Richard Snasdell

A number of stores have already confirmed their later closing times, with the Crown car park being made free on Thursday evenings to attract more visitors to Ipswich.

A family prepare to dig into a hot dog ahead of Christmas in 1993

A family prepare to dig into a hot dog ahead of Christmas in 1993 - Credit: Archant

The late-night shopping has seen thousands of people descend on the Cornhill over the years, with buildings such as the former Grimwades store and the Sailmakers shopping centre shining brightly.

Pictures from years gone by show the event has proven popular over the decades. 

Ipswich was bright under the Christmas lights in 2006

Ipswich was bright under the Christmas lights in 2006 - Credit: Archant

However, there were notably fewer shoppers in town out and about in the evenings in 2020 — which can be partly attributed to the Covid rules at the time.

The Sailmakers shopping centre near the Cornhill was lit up in 2015

The Sailmakers shopping centre near the Cornhill was lit up in 2015 - Credit: Archant

But the town centre will still be decorated this year, with a 50-foot Christmas tree recently placed outside the town hall and lights overhanging the streets.

There were fewer shoppers in Ipswich town centre on Thursday evenings in 2020, with a Covid lockdown only just being lifted

There were fewer shoppers in Ipswich town centre on Thursday evenings in 2020, with a Covid lockdown only just being lifted - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown


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