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Huge crowds celebrate as Ipswich switches on its Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 21:29 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:11 17 November 2017

Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber with Spiderman, John Morley, and The Dame, together switching on the Cornhill Christmas lights. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber with Spiderman, John Morley, and The Dame, together switching on the Cornhill Christmas lights. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Archant

Hundreds got into the Christmas spirit last night as Ipswich switched on its spectacular Christmas lights.

Emily Madder, Hannah Coulthard, Lucy Madder and Sophie Madder at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: NIGE BROWN Emily Madder, Hannah Coulthard, Lucy Madder and Sophie Madder at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Huge crowds descended on the Cornhill to see Mayor Sarah Barber hit the big red button to light up the town.

But the evening did not go quite as smoothly as planned, with the lights on the Corn Exchange failing to light up at the end of the big countdown.

However, it failed to dampen the spirits of the crowd, who were delighted to see Ipswich’s new traditional Christmas tree in all its glory.

The new spruce, which replaces the controversial white ‘bauble tree’, seemed to be a big hit with those in the crowd.

Warren Horlock at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: NIGE BROWN Warren Horlock at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Robert Needs, from Melton, who was watching the lights switch-on with his wife Emma and children Amber, six and Frazer, four, said he was pleased to see the real tree in place.

“It is certainly nice to see it back,” he said, “a lot of people have been calling for that.

“I think the bauble tree fits in at the Waterfront more because it is a more modern setting.

“To have a proper tree just makes people feel like it is Christmas.”

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: NIGE BROWN The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Mrs Barber said the town had a lot to offer shoppers this festive season.

“There are lots of things you can buy online but people should come to town for something a bit more special,” she said.

“We have the Christmas Market again in December this year which should be great.

“There are lots of interesting independent shops in the town as well as the big name brands.

Kirsty Button with Harriett Hunter at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on at the Cornhill. Picture: NIGE BROWN Kirsty Button with Harriett Hunter at the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on at the Cornhill. Picture: NIGE BROWN

“I think we have a great mixture of both.

“But it is not just about 
buying things, you can come in and meet with your friends, have something to eat, have a cup of coffee.

“It’s that experience you only get when coming into town.”

Mrs Barber said it was a proud moment to switch on her home town’s lights.

Toby Tye, Bradley Stephens, Jayden Green and Thomas Stephens get in the festive mood. Picture: NIGE BROWN Toby Tye, Bradley Stephens, Jayden Green and Thomas Stephens get in the festive mood. Picture: NIGE BROWN

She said: “We had a bit of a technical issue with the balcony lights not going on but it is all lit up now and looking great.

“From the balcony I would see all the people down below and they were having lots of fun.

“Getting dressed up in the mayor’s outfit and being up there on the balcony with a dame and Spiderman was quite an experience. With the fake snow falling and the choirs singing it was great, absolutely beautiful.”

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