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Cornhill sparkles as countdown to Christmas begins in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 07:30 23 November 2018

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

The new-look Cornhill has been decked out with twinkling Christmas lights as the festive season officially gets underway in Ipswich.

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHYThe new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Mayor Jane Riley and the cast of the Regent Theatre panto Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs welcomed hundreds of shoppers and spectators to the town centre as they prepared to switch on the Christmas lights.

Complete with the brand new 50ft Christmas tree – 10ft larger than last year – the new-look Cornhill played host to a range of colourful performances, food stalls and sparkling decorations.

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHYThe new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Ipswich borough councillor Bryony Rudkin said the event was “the start of a really exciting Ipswich Christmas”.

“The sparkle and magic of the festive season is for the first time held against the backdrop of the stunning new Cornhill,” she said.

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHYThe new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

“We have a good variety of shops, theatres, entertainment and global food to keep everyone happy over the festive season.”

Teenage singing sensation Roma opened this year’s festivities in style – three years after performing at the event in a chorus.

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHYThe new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Roma Nicholson, from Ipswich, was part of the Stagecoach chorus that performed in Ipswich town centre in 2015 when she was 10 years old.

She is now a solo musician and has been raising money for charity with her performances and album sales.

The new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHYThe new-look Cornhill was decked out with thousands of Christmas lights as the festive season officially got underway in Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Speaking ahead of the concert, she said: “I’m feeling very excited but nervous at the same time.

“I want to sing my heart out for the charities I’m supporting and put on a really great show.

“I want to thank Stagecoach as well – performing with them gave me the confidence to do something like this and they’re like a second family.”

On Sunday, crowds watched in awe as the 50ft Christmas tree was lifted into place on the newly renovated Cornhill.

A real tree, sourced from Elveden in north Suffolk, was selected to take pride of place in front of the town hall for the second year running after the council moved its LED-light tree to the waterfront in 2017.

Christmas shopping has now begun in earnest – with a host of entertainment planned for the town centre over the coming weeks.

On Saturday, November 24, the Cornhill will be busy once again with the next scheduled special event – featuring music from the feel-good group Pop Chorus. Eighty singers will entertain crowds at 1pm and 3pm.

Perhaps among the busiest day for shopping enthusiasts will be today, as hundreds of people line the streets searching for best Black Friday bargains.

Friday, November 23 is the designated day, although many sellers extend their sales over the weekend or even devote a whole week to bargain buys.

A spate of burglaries in Ipswich has left Suffolk police urging residents to be vigilant and secure with their homes and property as the evenings draw in.

Gritters are out on Suffolk’s vital roads tonight and tomorrow morning ahead of dropping temperatures and a risk of icy conditions.

A police officer intervened in a row between members of two rival groups in Ipswich town centre a few hours before 17-year-old Tavis Spencer-Aitkens was stabbed to death, it has been alleged.

Liz Nice went to Gorleston Pavilion Theatre to see Sleeping Beauty and discovered the answer

Eastern Angles is celebrating 30 years of their irreverent Christmas show with the gloriously surreal tale of The Fenland Screamers. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke gets enjoyably lost in this ripping yarn set in the roaring twenties

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual assault following reports of an attack on a woman in an Ipswich street.

Jewellery and cash were snatched from a home as burglars smashed their way into a property.

Police are appealing for information in the hunt for a missing teenager from Colchester.

Students at a school in Ipswich have been raising awareness of the problems of plastic this festive season but creating a huge Christmas tree with a difference.

Ipswich Council’s support for the town’s market while the Cornhill was being rebuilt has cost the authority £91,000, new figures show.

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