Festivities for all the family as Beccles and Halesworth prepares for Christmas switch ons

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. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Crowds will gather in Beccles town centre tonight as the streets are illuminated with festive lights.

A previous Christmas lights switch on event in Halesworth. Picture: Denise Bradley.

A previous Christmas lights switch on event in Halesworth. Picture: Denise Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The fun will start at 5.30pm on the main stage 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 a variety of stalls selling festive gifts, crafts, toys and decorations alongside street food and drink.

Father Christmas will be taking up residence in his grotto and his reindeer will also be in town for the night.

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


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The trail runs 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.

Maps can be picked up from participating shops and once completed can be dropped in at Saxons, Beccles Books or Oliver and J Jewellery.

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

The festival will open at 6pm and will continue tomorrow from 9.30am to 4.30pm and on Sunday from 12.30pm to 5.30pm.

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

Over in Halesworth, an afternoon of festive fun will be held tomorrow, November 25, kicking off with a performance from the Oxblood Molly Dancers at 3.15pm.

There will then be a musical performance from the Festival Voices, who will be singing carols from 3.45pm.

From 5pm, the traditional Christmas procession will see Father Christmas and his sleigh joined by the Royal British Legion’s Leiston branch, parading from the library to St Mary’s Church. Santa will then be available to meet youngsters in his grotto for just £1.

At around 5.15pm, scarecrow competition winner Alexander Collier, eight, will lead the countdown and switch on the lights.

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