Gallery/Video: Christmas lights switch-on events bring thousands of people to Stowmarket and Sudbury

Jade May-Jean Peters from The Voice switches on Stowmarkets Christmas Lights

Jade May-Jean Peters from The Voice switches on Stowmarkets Christmas Lights - Credit: Lucy taylor

The Christmas spirit came alive when thousands of people visited two Suffolk towns last night.

Stowmarket and Sudbury had their Christmas lights switch-on events, showcasing the best of what the towns have to offer.

The Voice singer Jade Mayjean Peters had the honours in Stowmarket to switch the lights on.

David Marsh, events and theatre manager for Stowmarket Town Council, which organised the event, said: “I think we are most proud of the team work between the different stakeholders – we have been engaged with the Museum of East Anglian Life, The Mix youth centre, the library and the parish church – it’s been a real team effort.

“We were happy with the event last year, it went really well. This year we have mixed it up with some more local talent – Samantha Harvey, from Hitcham, is releasing a Christmas record and Jade Mayjean Peters is from Ipswich who have both performed.”

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By 5pm last night there was already 1,000 people in the town centre, Mr Marsh said. And although the lights came on a little early, nobody was too bothered by the time plumes of fake snow were released.

The Museum of East Anglian Life also held its own Christmas fayre and the town’s library welcoming visitors with live music and children’s crafts. There was also events in the John Peel Centre.

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Meanwhile in Sudbury the bells of St Peter’s church rang and the Salvation Army band played carols as a crowd of revellers several hundred strong gathered around the Christmas tree in Old Market Place for the official light switch-on.

It was down to the mayor, Robert Spivey, to perform the task this year, ably assisted by Woodhall Primary School student Leigha Thistleton, who won a competition to design the town’s official Christmas card.

Mr Spivey said: “This is another year where we have pulled out all the stops to make this a great event and you can see how popular it is from the number of people who have attended.”

There was plenty to amuse the town’s younger residents such as a clown workshop, Santa in his grotto and mini fairground rides. Stalls including a tombola run by Long Melford Scouts were set up inside the church, where Sudbury Choral Society entertained with Christmas songs.

Event organiser Lynne James said: “It’s a really good crowd and the weather is brilliant for the occasion. I’m sure everyone will get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy what’s on offer here tonight.”

Both switch-on events were supported by the EADT and its sister titles the Stowmarket Mercury and Sudbury Mercury.

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