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Santa Claus bring the festive spirit to Felixstowe's Christmas lights switch-on

PUBLISHED: 12:40 27 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:26 27 November 2016

Mayor Jan Garfield,switches on Felixstowe  Christmas lights and tree at ceremony at The Triangle, on Saturday with candle-light procession.

Mayor Jan Garfield,switches on Felixstowe Christmas lights and tree at ceremony at The Triangle, on Saturday with candle-light procession.

Archant

The festive season was in full-swing yesterday when thousands of people attended a Suffolk seaside town's Christmas lights switch-on.

Some of the crowds gatheredSome of the crowds gathered

Around 3,000 people are thought to have attended the Felixstowe celebration featuring an afternoon of entertainment, complete with carol singers, dancers and, of course, an appearance from Santa Claus in his sleigh.

Organised by Felixstowe Lions for the 37th year running, this Christmas’s switch-on included performances from local musicians, singers and dancers on stage at The Triangle, beside a 45ft high tree - the tallest in the event’s history.

Arthur,Sidney,Reddy and Harry Gording got into the festive spiritArthur,Sidney,Reddy and Harry Gording got into the festive spirit

Felixstowe International College, Felixstowe Community Choir and pupils in the town all took part in the festivities as well as the Salvation Army, which led crowds in a carol sing-along.

Families with young children were invited to take part in a traditional candle-light procession, leading up to the main switch-on.

Esme Smy with Louis Eaton of Felixstowe Lions.Esme Smy with Louis Eaton of Felixstowe Lions.

Mayor Jan Garfield, who was given the honour of flicking the switch, moments after a rocket was let off from the stage, said it was a “wonderful event – as it always is”.

“It was incredible to see the crowds; you just look out from the stage and can see this sea of people – it’s a fantastic sight,” she added.

Felixstowe Salvation Army led the crowds in a Christmas carol sing-alongFelixstowe Salvation Army led the crowds in a Christmas carol sing-along

Mrs Garfield has thanked the Lions for their efforts organising the event each year, using funding from Felixstowe Town Council.

Lions president Peter Kilburn said it was a “successful event with great atmosphere”.

.Ania van den Ende..Ania van den Ende.

“The crowds were absolutely rammed,” he added.

John Gooch, who was manning a burger stall for the Lions, said it was a “brilliant” event, which he hoped had raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Tahlia Mai Masters.Tahlia Mai Masters.

“Everybody was happy and having fun,” he added.

“It helps start things off for Christmas; the town benefits from so many people coming to see what’s happening and the shopkeepers hopefully do well out of it too.”

Charly ClarkCharly Clark

After the lights switch-on there was a final performance from a Michael Bublé tribute act.

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