Festive season kicked off in Ipswich with Christmas lights switch-on and late-night shopping

Mayor Glen Chisholm switches on Ipswich's Christmas lights for 2015.

Mayor Glen Chisholm switches on Ipswich's Christmas lights for 2015. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich was transformed into a winter wonderland tonight as thousands of people turned out to enjoy the annual switch-on of the Christmas lights.

The cast of the Regent’s Christmas pantomime, Aladdin, got the show started at 5.30pm and staged a number of crowd-pleasers to get everyone singing along.

The performers got spectators involved in a countdown before the mayor of Ipswich, Glen Chisholm, who was standing on a balcony in the Town Hall, did the honours of switching on the lights at around 6.45pm. A snow machine blasted white flakes over the Cornhill as the town centre lit up with festive twinkles.

Last night was also the first of the town’s late-night shopping evenings.

Matt Staples, who was at the event with wife Angela and their sons Rhys, three, and four-month-old Drake, said the evening had a nice ambience and a friendly atmosphere.

Also getting into the festive spirit was Rochelle Rose, who is going to be on a cruise ship in Africa when December 25 comes around.

She attended the switch-on with friend Laurelle Burroughs and her three children, Casey, 11, Marni, seven, and four-year-old Crew.

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Ms Burroughs said: “The children definitely enjoyed it. It’s a nice thing to do with all the family and that’s what it’s all about.”

The event was hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk’s Etholle George.

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