Packed programme of events for Felixstowe’s Christmas lights switch-on celebration

Switching on of the resort's lights will launch a flurry of festive events at the resort. Picture: N

Switching on of the resort's lights will launch a flurry of festive events at the resort. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

Huge crowds are expected in Felixstowe this weekend as the town enjoys its annual Christmas lights switch-on event.

Traders are hoping it will be “jingle tills” as the shopping season gets fully under way with the start of the resort’s yuletide activities.

They include late-night shopping, Save the Children and Felixstowe Rotary Club’s Rudolph tour and a special event at Landguard Fort.

Santa and Rudolph will kick-start the switch-on celebrations on Saturday at 12.40pm when they leave the area outside the Great Eastern Square shopping complex to lead the parade down Hamilton Road to the grotto on The Triangle.

Members of Felixstowe Lions Club, who organise the annual display and put in hundreds of man hours maintaining the lights and putting them up, have organised a packed afternoon of entertainment.

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The area from York Road to the Boots junction will be closed for the afternoon’s activities – and there will also be a traditional Christmas craft market, plus food, gift and charity stalls in Hamilton Road from 10am.

The colourful festive light garlands once again stretch all the way down the main shopping street and some sideroads, with the centrepiece the tree on The Triangle.

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Entertainment gets under way at 1pm with the Team Spirit cheerleaders, with other highlights including song and dance from the Imagine Theatre Company at 2.10pm, Felixstowe International College students at 3pm, music from the Felixstowe schools’ Everlasting Light project at 3.40pm, and community carols with the Felixstowe Salvation Army Band at 4.20pm.

At around 4.40pm families with children will take part in a candlelight parade through Hamilton Road, arriving at the carol singing ready for the switch-on of the lights by the mayor Nick Barber at 5pm.

Mr Barber said: “The lights being switched on is that moment when it signifies for me that Christmas is almost here. We must praise the great Lions Club of Felixstowe for the magnificent job they do year in, year out, to make the town centre such a fantastic attraction.”

Free car parking is available on Saturday from 3pm at Suffolk Coastal’s Crescent Road, Highfield Road and Ranelagh Road car parks.

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