Thousands attend Bury St Edmunds’ biggest ever Christmas lights switch on

A packed Buttermarket and Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds for the switching on of the Christmas lights

A packed Buttermarket and Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds for the switching on of the Christmas lights - Credit: Archant

The festive season kicked off with a party atmosphere in Bury St Edmunds tonight, with the annual Christmas lights switch on seeing thousands turn out.

Around 3,500 visitors are thought to have attended the event, with more lights than ever before switched on across the town centre.

The proceedings started at 2pm, with plenty of family activities on show including fairground rides, charity market stalls, penguins, huskies and reindeer.

At 3pm live entertainment from local schools took place ahead of the main event, with the Cornhill becoming completely packed with people in front of Moyse’s Hall Museum.

The crowds cheered as the lights were switched on just before 7pm by guests Father Christmas and Mark Daly, chairman of OurBuryStEdmunds, before a Robbie Williams tribute act took to the stage.

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This is the fifth year the Business Improvement District, OurBuryStEdmunds, have organised the lights since taking over from the council.

Mark Cordell, OurBuryStEdmunds chief executive, hailed the event a great success and was thankful the howling winds from Storm Barney had resided and rain earlier that day had stopped.

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“We were delighted to have more charity stalls on the market than ever before,” he said. “The school kids were great on stage.

“I am delighted the weather improved in time and we had 3,000 to 4,000 people turn up. This is the start of the festive shopping season for many of our members.

“For some members as much 25% of their turnover comes from the Christmas season, so it is incredibly important for us.

“We had more lights this year than before. We try and make sure the town looks brilliant and it seems to have worked.

“It was completely free of course and another great family event we have organised in the town.”

The addition of more lights than ever before meant the town’s major car parks were also lit up last night.

OurBuryStEdmunds have also organised, in partnership with other organisations, for the town’s first ever real ice rink, which will open on December 5 in Charter Square.

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