Electric atmosphere at lights switch on

IT was an electric atmosphere as hundreds of people gathered on the Cornhill to see the town lit up for Christmas.The rain didn't deter spectators as families crowded outside the Town Hall to see the dazzling display and live entertainment, which heralds the start of Christmas shopping in the town.

IT was an electric atmosphere as hundreds of people gathered on the Cornhill to see the town lit up for Christmas.

The rain didn't deter spectators as families crowded outside the Town Hall to see the dazzling display and live entertainment, which heralds the start of Christmas shopping in the town.

The crowds cheered as the countdown began and olympic gold medallist Karen Pickering switched on the lights along with Ipswich Mayor Richard Risebrow and his grand daughters, Madeline, 11, Samantha, six and Alexandra, four.

The town was buzzing as shoppers stopped to watch the unveiling of 2,000 lights on The Evening Star Christmas tree and a further 3,600 lights across the town, sponsored by TXU Energi.


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BBC Radio Suffolk staged a roadshow presented by Mark Murphy. The Co-op Juniors' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made appearances, along with Father Christmas, Paul King (winner of Radio Suffolk's search for a star competition) and local band Plush.

Swimmer Karen Pickering, 30, who rushed in from training to do the honours, said: "I was really excited and looking forward to switching on the lights. I love this time of year."

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Mum Lisa Last, 35, of Teal Close, came along to the event with her daughter Ashleigh, six, and son Lee, 15 to see daughter Gaby Last, seven, sing with fellow Sprites Junior pupils.

"It is the first time I have come and it has been really good. It was a great atmosphere."

As in previous years collection boxes will be placed around the tree for donations to The Evening Star's Christmas appeal.

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