Sudbury, Stowmarket and Beccles get into festive spirit with dazzling Christmas light switch-on events

Faris Nelson and Flo Cook enjoying the Beccles Christmas 2017 festive light switch-on. Picture: Nic

Faris Nelson and Flo Cook enjoying the Beccles Christmas 2017 festive light switch-on. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Excited crowds turned out in their thousands tonight as Christmas lights were switched on in the Suffolk towns of Stowmarket, Sudbury and Beccles.

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Illuminating the streets in Stowmarket was celebrity magician and Britain’s Got Talent star Matt Edwards.

His assistant for the evening was seven year old Matthew Letori-Hill – a budding magician and massive fan of the TV talent show runner-up.

He entered a competition run by Stowmarket Town Council in conjunction with our sister title, the Stowmarket Mercury, and wowed judges with his “fantastically persuasive” entry letter.

The competition offered entrants a chance to live like a star for the day, including being collected by a BKP Limousine, enjoying afternoon tea with the Stowmarket Mayor at the Cedars Hotel, before taking to the main stage to be Matt Edwards’ magical assistant.

Families take to the ice rink at the Sudbury Christmas lights switch on 2017. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN

Families take to the ice rink at the Sudbury Christmas lights switch on 2017. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN - Credit: Archant


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Event organiser David Marsh said: “We were totally overwhelmed by the number of entries we received for this year’s competition.

“Deciding on a winner proved almost impossible, so finally our favourite three entries went into a hat and we picked one at random.”

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There was all the fun of the fair in Sudbury, with an ice rink and fairground rides running alongside Santa’s grotto and reindeer.

Town mayor Sarah Page switched on the lights, along with the winner of this year’s Christmas card competition, Grace Hiskett from St Gregory Primary School.

Robin Hood panto cast members help with the Beccles Christmas 2017 festive light switch-on. Picture:

Robin Hood panto cast members help with the Beccles Christmas 2017 festive light switch-on. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Speaking ahead of the event, town centre manager and event coordinator Ami Birrell said: “It has been challenging and exciting organising this year’s Christmas fair for the first time, I hope the introduction of real life reindeer and the grotto being in the bright and cozy setting of Holmes and Hills Solicitors will create a realistic and magical experience for visitors.”

In Beccles, the crowd was showered with fake snow.

The cast of this year’s pantomime, Robin Hood, along with mayor Richard Stubbings had the honour of switching on the lights.

Mr Stubbings said: “It’s great to see so many people in the town and see it all so vibrant. There is a lovely atmosphere with all the parents and children milling around.”

Sudbury Mayor Sarah Page along with the winner of this year’s Christmas card competition, Grace Hisk

Sudbury Mayor Sarah Page along with the winner of this years Christmas card competition, Grace Hiskett, from St Gregory Primary School, turn on the lights. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN - Credit: Archant

The Christmas Tree Trail, running until December 23, also launched, as did the Christmas Tree Festival at Hungate Church, which runs until Sunday.

Reindeer were at the Sudbury Christmas lights switch on 2017. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN

Reindeer were at the Sudbury Christmas lights switch on 2017. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN - Credit: Archant

Families take to the ice rink at the Sudbury Christmas lights switch on 2017. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN

Families take to the ice rink at the Sudbury Christmas lights switch on 2017. Picture: SIMON TRAYLEN - Credit: Archant

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