Felixstowe: Festive fun glows with Christmas lights switch-on

FELIXSTOWE: The frosty weather and snow flurries created the perfect backdrop to the launch of the Christmas season.

The countdown began on Saturday when the lights were switched on in Felixstowe town centre at the climax of an afternoon of traditional Christmas celebrations.

Mayor Jon Garfield pulled the lever to the delight of the vast crowd that had gathered to see the town awash with colour.

“It marks the start of the Christmas season. It is the first major step because people are suddenly realising it is only four weeks to Christmas day,”

A highlight of the afternoon for Mr Garfield was joining the town’s school pupils in a candlelit procession.

“It was great to see all the children excited, they all had happy faces and it made me feel very cheerful.”

He revealed that he is especially looking forward to Christmas this year since the arrival of his fifth grandchild two months ago.

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The Salvation Army band sang while the choir led the carol singers in a joyful burst of Christmas song and majorettes, baton twirlers, Rainbow Guides and amateur dramatic casts all joined in, showcasing their individual talents.

The afternoon schedule was put together by the Lions Club of Felixstowe. Secretary John Gooch said: “We had a little bit of snow in the morning, but the cold added to the spirit.

“We had more than 2,000 people at the end, which is more than last year. I was selling burgers and we had to go out for more supplies.”

The group has yet to tot up how much it raised during the day but is confident it was a bumper year.

There have been fears that Christmas will be more subdued this year, but Mr Gooch thinks the good turnout suggests otherwise.

“People always tend to find that little extra for Christmas. The adults might go without but I am sure the children will get what they want they usually do,” he said.

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