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Gallery: Ipswich celebrated a rather damp start to the festive season with a day of Christmas treats and its annual lights switch-on

10:34 17 November 2014

The Mayor of Ipswich Bill Quinton switched the Christmas lights on from the Town Hall balcony. Photograph Simon Parker

The Mayor of Ipswich Bill Quinton switched the Christmas lights on from the Town Hall balcony. Photograph Simon Parker

Archant

More than 10,000 people are estimated to have visited the town centre throughout the day yesterday to mark the official launch of Christmas.

Festivities included a festive market in St Peter’s Street, street performers, fairground rides, live music and a meet and greet by the star of this year’s Regent’s pantomime Cinderella.

The day culminated at 5pm on the Corn Hill with a low-key ceremony to turn on the Christmas lights.

Dritan Duro, from Ipswich, who was at the switch-on with his partner and two daughters, Dion, 6, and Elisa, 5, said: “It’s nice for the community and for the kids to come out, and I think we should have a bit more stuff like this coming into the town.”

Sandra Miller from Colchester said: “It’s very nice to see all the children enjoying it as well as the adults.”

Katherine Hurrell, also from Ipswich, added: “I think it’s a good event which brings people into town, and anything which gets people out and supporting local business is good.”

Last month it was feared there would be no light switch-on event at all and suggestions that it would take place in broad daylight so businesses would benefit from the crowded high street.

However, after pressure from residents and the Ipswich Star, Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) decided a switch on would take place after the end of shopping yesterday, with the lights formally switched on by the town’s mayor, Bill Quinton, from the Town Hall balcony.

There were still a few disappointed people who felt more of an effort could have been made.

Cyril Nunn from Felixstowe said: “When they said they wouldn’t be doing it, I think that put a lot of people off, so they could have promoted it a bit better.”

Ann Clarke from Ipswich said: “They should make a bit more of an effort. There’s no snow or Father Christmas, so how much of a future will there be?”

Kyle Fisk from Ipswich added: “There was some confusion from businesses and I don’t think everyone knew if anything was happening.”

The market on St Peter’s Street enjoyed a bustling trade during the day.

Andrew Mayhew, centre manager for St Peter’s by the Waterfront which held a craft and gift fair today, said: “It’s nice that everything is happening here today and that St Peter’s street market has such amazing support.”

Siobhan Fitt-Stirling, owner of the Handmade at Home stall on St Peter’s Street craft fair, said: “The outdoor ones are really nice because you do get more people coming along. I think Ipswich is really changing and trying to branch out into becoming a more cultural place. The more things like this happen, the more people will expect it to happen, which is great.”

A spokesperson from Ipswich Borough Council said: “We have had twice the number of people in the town centre than usual, with over 10,000 throughout the day. This is the first time we have put on a full day’s launch and it seems to have worked.”

13 comments

  • From the article it sounds like it was a great day, clearly I was in a different town as all I saw by way of entertainment during the couple of hours I was there were 2 small kiddies roundabouts on the Cornhill! Apart from the 'tree' and the lights it just looked like any other day in the town, nothing special at all. I didn't hang around for the switch on, I had to leave as despite all the ads saying IBC car parks would be £1 for the day Cromwell Square was still charging its exorbitant hourly rates! I have always enjoyed the switch on but this year was such a disappointment, sorry.

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

  • Personally I find the Christmas lights in Ipswich drab and dreary. The majority of them are plain white, and contain no figures. Why?? When I go to other, even smaller towns I always see a cheerful riot of colour, especially the traditional Christmas colours of green and red; and lots of traditional figures such as angels, snowmen, elves, Santa & reindeers. Add to that the cheap and insubstantial "tree"... Sorry, but I think it's a bit of an embarrassment.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • It is noted that the Ipswich (population 150000) Christmas market has 50 stalls. Bury St Edmunds (population 42000) Christmas market has 300 stalls. Just saying.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • What a load of moaning minis this town has. All you lot do it moan. Bunch of victor Meldrews! If you didnt want to get wet why did you come? Idiots!

    Report this comment

    IpswichTownFC4Ever

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • When you say waterfront do you mean Ipswich docks

    Report this comment

    just my view

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • Yeah, rubbish tree and well done for shutting the Ramparts straight after, forcing us to walk up Lloyds in the rain.

    Report this comment

    kev70

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • Still got that awful tree then, I haven't been Xmas shopping in Ipswich for a couple of years. It is terrible, looks cheap and tacky and it brings it home when one of the kids a couple of years ago asked 'why haven't they got a proper tree'. It's not as if it's unique.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • The bright Christmas illuminations must have really dazzled the personpeople who counted the crowd..................10,000 people .......really?!

    Report this comment

    england1770

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • The head count is most likely the foot count, stores count the number of people coming in through their doors.. so if you add al the stores together it probably comes to 10000. And Ipswich ... a cultural place... did someone spill a tub of yoghurt?

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • Who counts these 10000 people?

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • The media were told to tell people not to come , was on the radio , why was that ?

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • Of course this article is "moderated"...

    Report this comment

    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Monday, November 17, 2014

  • I'm glad this was a happy occasion for so many, but the event is really just back-patting for the self serving council They weren't even going to have this occasion, until people grumbled. If only we could get Waterfront Borough Council to listen to the public more often.

    Report this comment

    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Monday, November 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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