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When does the Ipswich Christmas lights switch-on take place and is there a real tree?

PUBLISHED: 18:07 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 02 November 2017

The bauble tree that previously stood in Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The bauble tree that previously stood in Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Details for this year’s Christmas lights switch-on in Ipswich have been unveiled – with a real tree returning to the Cornhill.

The lights will be switched on from 6.45pm on Thursday, November 16, where a real Christmas tree provided by Ipswich Central and supported by the Ipswich Star will be taking centre stage and illuminate the town.

Work has already been underway putting up the banner lights across some of the town centre’s main shopping streets, which will also be lit up at the same time.

But for fans of the artificial bauble tree which has been in the Cornhill over the last few years there is more good news.

The tree will be relocated to Ipswich Waterfront where it will take pride of place next to the University of Suffolk question mark sculpture.

A real Christmas Tree stood on the Cornhill in Ipswich in 2009. Picture: PHIL MORLEY A real Christmas Tree stood on the Cornhill in Ipswich in 2009. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

It means the Waterfront will have its own Christmas tree for the first time.

The artificial tree will be put up overnight on Wednesday into Thursday morning next week, but will be lit at the same time as the real tree in the town centre.

Tim Greenacre, registrar and secretary at the University of Suffolk said: “We are pleased to be able to support Ipswich with providing a location for the contemporary Christmas tree.

“It will make a great addition to the Waterfront over the festive period and I am sure will be enjoyed by students, staff and the community.”

The bauble tree has been a point of discussion in the town. Picture: BARRY PULLEN The bauble tree has been a point of discussion in the town. Picture: BARRY PULLEN

This year, three generations will come together to press the button that will illuminate the tree and town centre.

Ipswich Mayor Sarah Barber will be joined by her four-year-old nephew Olen Abraham, as well as inspirational 91-year-old John Morley, who earlier this year abseiled down the side of Ipswich Hospital dressed as Spider-man to raise money for good causes.

The mayor will then join the Pop Chorus choir for a debut performance of their Christmas single, Always, in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Mrs Barber said: “Olen and I are looking forward to meeting John for the big switch on and we are delighted to welcome Yula and Pop Chorus to the event.

A Christmas tree has been a feature in the town's market square over the festive season for many decades - as this picture from 1963 shows. Picture: ARCHANT A Christmas tree has been a feature in the town's market square over the festive season for many decades - as this picture from 1963 shows. Picture: ARCHANT

“It is always a grand occasion and marks the start of a fantastic festive season for Suffolk’s county town.

“It’s also exciting to be switching on a new real tree here on the Cornhill at the same time that our other modern tree shines across the Waterfront in front of the University of Suffolk.

“We are grateful to the university for hosting this tree – things are going to be twice as good in Ipswich this Christmas.”

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