Gallery: Hundreds flock to Sudbury to see Christmas lights switched on as market town lights up with festive glow

Sudbury Christmas Lights switch on. Mayor Adrian Osborne, with Robert Spivey, Sue Brotherwood and To

Sudbury Christmas Lights switch on. Mayor Adrian Osborne, with Robert Spivey, Sue Brotherwood and Toby Bullock. - Credit: Archant

It was smiles all round tonight as the centre of Sudbury lit up with a festive glow.

Hundreds turned out to see the Christmas lights officially switched on by town mayor Adrian Osborne.

The Salvation Army band played carols as he flicked the switch, illuminating the town’s Christmas tree, Market Place and Town Hall for the start of the festive season.

He was helped by eight-year-old Toby Bullock, from Long Melford, who won a competition to design the mayor’s official Christmas card.

Sudbury was buzzing as stallholders peddled seasonal treats including hot chestnuts, sold by Sudbury Rotary Club, and mugs of piping hot chocolate.

The younger revellers enjoyed mini fairground rides outside the Town Hall and a magic show inside St Peter’s Church, while Santa in his grotto – courtesy of the local Rotary clubs – took Christmas requests from a long line of eager children.

Gainsborough’s House Museum was open to the public free all evening while the town’s many shops decked their windows out with yuletide displays.

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Organisers were delighted that the weather for the annual occasion remained dry and seasonably chilly.

Sudbury’s traders are now hoping for a profitable lead up to the big day and are encouraging shoppers to visit the many speciality stores in the town.

Meanwhile in Stowmarket, thousands of people flocked to see the town’s Christmas lights being switched-on by entertainer Richard Whymark.

The Wattisham Military Wives Choir began their performance at 7pm before the countdown to the bulbs being turned on in the Market Place at 7.30pm.

Several of the town’s organisations including the Museum of East Anglian Life, the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket Library and St Peter and St Mary’s Church were involved in offering entertainment.

Pupils from Abbot’s Hall Community Primary School opened the evening with their choir.

Today also saw the launch of the church’s Christmas Tree Festival, which attracts up to 20,000 visitors every year.