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Beccles will light up with festive cheer as crowds gather for switch on

18 November, 2017 - 09:30
Last year's Christmas lights switch on event in Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Last year's Christmas lights switch on event in Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

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Beccles will be twinkling with festive cheer as crowds gather for the annual Christmas lights switch on event next week.

Last year's Christmas lights switch on event in Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.Last year's Christmas lights switch on event in Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The fun will start at 5.30pm on the main stage on Friday, November 24, with Dave Taylor from Heart Radio joined by mayor Richard Stubbings and the cast of this year’s Beccles pantomime Robin Hood, who will be switching on the lights at 6pm.

Live entertainment on the stage will come from Tom Elgie, BellaTonic and the Beccles Community Choir along with street entertainment from the Suffolk School of Samba. There will also be guest appearances from Woody Bear and other film characters, a variety of stalls selling festive gifts, crafts, toys and decorations alongside street food and drink including mulled wine.

Father Christmas will be taking up residence in his grotto to meet children and his reindeer will also be in Beccles for the night. And all the shops will be staying open late for Christmas shopping.

Coinciding with the switch on will be the launch of this year’s Beccles Christmas Tree Trail and the popular three-day Christmas Tree Festival.

The trail will run from November 24 until December 23 and this year 63 businesses are taking part, displaying their decorated trees complete with a number for people to find. All of the tree sites are listed on a trail map and when put together the letters will spell out a Christmas phrase.

Trail maps can be picked up from any of the participating shops and once completed can be posted into the collection boxes at Saxons, Beccles Books or Oliver and J Jewellery.

Prizes include a family ticket to the Beccles pantomime, a family pizza voucher, luxury food hampers and gift vouchers.

Participants can also vote for their favourite tree, with a bottle of champagne for the winning business.

The Christmas Tree Festival, which is now in its 15th year, will be staged at Hungate Church in Beccles, with 50 trees decorated by schools, youth and adult organisations, businesses and individuals creating a spectacle of colour, light and creativity.

The festival will open at 
6pm on November 24 when the lights are switched on. After closing to visitors at 9pm, the church doors will open again on Saturday, November 25 from 9.30am to 4.30pm and on Sunday, November 26 from 12.30pm to 5.30pm.

Admission costs £2 with accompanied children free and light refreshments will be available in the Stable Cafe.

For more information about the light switch on visit www.beccleschristmaslights.co.uk or search on Facebook for Beccles Christmas Lights Switch On.

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