Lights switch-on event gets Christmas under way at the seaside

People gathered to see the Christmas lights get switched on in Felixstowe Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS

People gathered to see the Christmas lights get switched on in Felixstowe Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS - Credit: Archant

Christmas gets under way in Felixstowe this weekend when thousands of people are expected to pack the town centre for the switch-on of the resort’s festive lights.

For the organisers, the Felixstowe Lions, it’s the culmination of thousands of man hours given free to maintain the lighting display, and put up the twinkling garlands and other displays, and the tree on the Triangle in Hamilton Road.

Light-up day is on Saturday, December 1 and will feature a Christmas Craft Market, charity stalls and a full programme of entertainment.

Hamilton Road will be closed between York Road and Cobbold Road for the day, as will the shared space for the food and craft fair.

Stalls open from 10am and then at 12.45pm Santa and Rudolph leave Great Eastern Square with their helpers as they parade down Hamilton Road to the Triangle, where Father Christmas will be in his grotto from 1pm.

The afternoon’s entertainment will include singers, belly dancers and the Felixstowe Schools Christmas Charity Music Project.

Then at 4.30pm, there will be a children’s candlelight parade through Hamilton Road to the switch-on by the mayor Graham Newman at 5pm.

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There are further events in the town next week when the Felixstowe Salvation Army presents its annual Charity Christmas Tree Festival from Tuesday, December 4 to Saturday, December 8 at its building in Cobbold Road, Felixstowe.

Once again the hall will be packed with a huge assortment of trees with exciting designs on different themes created by local organisations and charities.

Mayor Mr Newman will officially open the event on December 4 at 6pm at a short carol service.

The event will be open from Tuesday 10.30am to 7pm, then Wednesday to Friday from 10.30am to 5pm, and on Saturday 10.30am to 4pm.

Entry is free but donations can be made to charities taking part in the festival.

The Salvation Army will also be offering refreshments throughout the day and light lunches, and there will also be stalls selling homemade crafts.

Also on Tuesday, December 4, Father Christmas and Rudolph will start their nightly journeys around the town in aid of the Rotary Club of Felixstowe and the work of Save the Children.