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Felixstowe Christmas lights switch-on - everything you need to know

PUBLISHED: 11:28 29 November 2019

Santa will be back with his elevesd in his grotto at the Felixstowe Christmas lights switch on on November 30 Picture: LIONS CLUB OF FELIXSTOWE

Santa will be back with his elevesd in his grotto at the Felixstowe Christmas lights switch on on November 30 Picture: LIONS CLUB OF FELIXSTOWE

Archant

Visitors and shoppers can enjoy a day of festive fun and entertainment as Felixstowe lights up its town centre with the magic of Christmas.

Big crowds are expected again for the Felixstowe Christmas Lights switch-on Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOOREBig crowds are expected again for the Felixstowe Christmas Lights switch-on Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

The Lions Club of Felixstowe has been organising the colourful decorative lighting display for 41 years with financial help from Felixstowe Town Council and a range of sponsors.

This year the festive fairyland features sparkling seasonal garlands on lampposts in Hamilton Road and Orwell Road, with displays on shops and at Great Eastern Square with the tree as the centrepiece on the Triangle.

Switch-on day is Saturday, November 30 - with mayor Nick Barber due to carry out the ceremony at 5pm, but there is a lot to enjoy beforehand.

Hamilton Road between York Road and Bank Corner/Orwell Road will be closed for the day for the celebrations and entertainment and a Christmas craft market between Boots and Bank Corner.

Esme Smy, Calvin Whiting, Kaitlyn Whiting and Alice Graves at the Felixstowe Christmas lights switch-on Picture: HARMAN HOPKINSEsme Smy, Calvin Whiting, Kaitlyn Whiting and Alice Graves at the Felixstowe Christmas lights switch-on Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS

What is happening this year?

10am: Craft Market - gifts and food stalls - along Hamilton Road opens.

11.30am: Music from Fresh Gold Radio and "Kingjay" on stage.

Noon: Stalls, including charity ones, outside Tesco's around the Triangle open.

12.30pm-1pm: Bits and Pieces Band.

12.30pm: Santa and Rudolph arrive at Great Eastern Square, then leave at 12.40pm to parade down Hamilton Road.

1pm: Santa arrives at the Triangle. Grotto opens.

1.05pm-1.35pm: Felixstowe Community Choir.

1.40pm-2pm: Bits and Pieces Band.

2.10pm-2.40pm: Imagine Theatre Company with song and dance.

2.45pm-3.30pm: Music from Fresh Gold Radio and Adam Thomas.

3.35pm:-4.10pm: Felixstowe Schools Music Project "Everlasting Light".

4.20pm-4.50pm: Felixstowe Salvation Army Band with carols.

4.30pm: Candlelight parade.

4.50pm: The Mayor and Lions President speeches.

5pm: The lights are switched-on by the Mayor.

5.05pm-5.35pm: Soul Project.

6pm: Craft Market closes.

The Candlelight Parade

This year the Candlelight Parade is taking a slightly different format - and will start from the Orwell Hotel in Hamilton Road.

Instead of candles in jam jars, children will be given a battery-powered candle to hold and keep as a gift from the Orwell Hotel and the Lions Club.

The parade will start at 4.30pm and walk down Hamilton Road to a special area on The Triangle set aside from which the youngsters and their families will be able to see the mayor turn on the lights.

Town centre 'needs support more than ever'

Mayor Nick Barber paid tribute to the hard work done by the Lions and thanked all the sponsors.

He said: The town council do financially assist, but the many hours of work undertaken by the Lions volunteers is incredible and their continued contributions are invaluable. As mayor it is always one of our highlights, with thousands of residents coming out to support the event.

"In these difficult times please support our local shops as much as you can. I think our great town centre needs your support this Christmas, more than any other."

Lions Club president John Gooch also urged people to support the shops and event sponsors and thanked everyone involved, particularly lighting manager John Weatherhogg and his team who work from January to November to improve, maintain and put up the displays and make sure they are in tip-top condition.

Parking

Drivers will be able to park free - thanks to East Suffolk Council - in Highfield Road, Crescent Road and Ranelagh Road car parks from 2pm to 6pm.

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