Stowmarket: Thousands visit town for Christmas lights switch-on

The crowds out in force in Stowmarket for the lights switch-on

The crowds out in force in Stowmarket for the lights switch-on - Credit: Archant

Around 5,000 people visited Stowmarket to see the Christmas lights switched on during a night of fun with attractions spread out across the town.

Father Christmas even appeared for the event in Stowmarket

Father Christmas even appeared for the event in Stowmarket - Credit: Archant

The town came to a standstill at 7.30pm on Friday when comedian Richard Whymark was counted down before he turned on the lights which then illuminated the streets.

Performers at the Stowmarket event

Performers at the Stowmarket event - Credit: Archant

Crowds were attracted to a performance by the Wattisham Military Wives Choir at 7pm as the excitement built.

Sharon Brown, town centre manager, for Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership, which led the event’s organisation said up to 2,000 more people attended compared to last year.

“It was amazing, there was just so many people there, it was unbelievable,” she said.

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“I never thought we would get even more people than last year, but we did. We estimate that there were between 3,000-4,000 people there last year but it must have been about 5,000 there on Friday.

“We are very happy with how it went and people I think seemed to like that it was all Stowmarket talent at the event. The Wattisham Military Wives Choir were very well received, I think that was when the Market Place was most packed.

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“The way to expand next year is to spread the events further throughout the town to give people more room.”

The winners of the Stowmarket’s Got Talent competition - Eve Betts and Richard Roebuck - performed on the night.

Pupils from Abbot’s Hall Community Primary School opened the event with its choir singing.

The popular Christmas Tree Festival at St Peter and St Mary’s Church, which sees up to 20,000 visit each year, was also launched the same evening.

Reverend Michael Eden said: “The festival looked so beautiful the people have been very creative.”

He said the church aimed to keep the central Christian message of Christmas at the core of the festival. The festival will be available to visit until January 4.

The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts and the Museum of East Anglian Life both joined in on the night as well as several other civic and cultural organisations.

A Christmas Fayre will run in the town on Saturday, December 14, from 10am-4pm in the Market Place.

There will be a traditional Christmas street market and live entertainment.

On Sunday, December 22, the church will host the Town Carol Service from 6pm with refreshments provided by Stowmarket Town Council.

There were also a number of unclaimed raffle prizes. they are blue 1 child’s handbag and craft items; blue 5 voucher F G Brown Opticians; blue 14 tin of Celebrations; orange 11 voucher Vantage; pink 188 tights; pink 189 voucher CJ’s Sandwich Bar; yellow 19, 23, 35, 37, 106 vouchers Pickwicks; yellow 25 sunglasses; yellow 53 evening handbag; yellow 92 Christmas teddy bear; yellow 115 bracelet; yellow 138 scarf; yellow 155 Yankee candle.

Prizes can be collected from Style@stow, 15 Bury Street, Stomwarket, IP14 1HA, before December 14.

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