Suffolk lights up for Christmas

A HUGE crowd gathered in Felixstowe town centre for the switch-on of the resort's Christmas lights.

A HUGE crowd gathered in Felixstowe town centre on Sunday for the switch-on of the resort's Christmas lights.

It was the climax to a day of festive fun - heralding the start of the Christmas shopping season and getting everyone in the mood.

Hamilton Road was busy all day with people enjoying the resort's shops, but also a continental market, organised by Felixstowe Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Stalls - strung out between Boots and Bank Corner - included a wide variety of foods, including meats, fruit and vegetables, biscuits, cheeses, plus chocolates, crafts, glass, porcelain, clothes and jewellery.

During the afternoon, the road alongside The Triangle was closed to allow a range of entertainment - including Team Spirit cheerleaders troupe, Felixstowe Musical Theatre with songs from their panto Peter Pan, the One Christmas Tearfund schools charity project, and FADOS, while Santa Claus was meeting children in his grotto.

The Salvation Army led the community carol singing and mayor Mike Deacon, helped by local children, threw the switch to light up the town centre.

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Members of the Felixstowe Lions Club organise the lights, putting in thousands of man hours repairing and maintaining the colourful display, and putting up the strings and garlands in Hamilton Road and Orwell Road, and the Christmas tree, the centrepiece, on The Triangle.

Mr Deacon thanked everyone who had been involved in the switch-on and the lighting display, including the sponsors and many contributors.

Lions president Gareth Kemp said the day had been a great success.

“This really is the start of Christmas - the wonder on the children's faces is just great to see,” he said.

Meanwhile in Hadleigh children paraded in festive fancy dress costumes for a competition and a funfair took over the car park next to Barclays Bank.

There was also live musical entertainment including Sam Kingston and Friends and the Elmsett Fellowship Band who accompanied the carol singing.

Another highlight was performances from the recent winners of the talent show 'Has Hadleigh Got Talent'.

And in Stowmarket Christmas got underway on Friday with the Christmas Tree Festival at St Peter and St Mary's


There are over 150 trees in the parish church of St Mary and St Peter's decorated by many local schools, organisations and groups.

What do you love best about Christmas? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail