Bury St Edmunds is lit up for Christmas

Kat Bowe, from Barrow, with her children Emilia and James ANL-161117-231049009
Kat Bowe, from Barrow, with her children Emilia and James ANL-161117-231049009

Families gathered in Bury St Edmunds’ Buttermarket last night to witness the start of the town’s festive season.

A packed programme of entertainment created a fun atmosphere in the lead up to the main attraction – the Christmas lights switch on – with stalls, face painting, school performances and appearances from Elsa, Olaf and, of course, Santa helping to make it as memorable as ever.

Jack and Freddie Alexander, from Eriswell, with a giant penguin  ANL-161117-231101009

Jack and Freddie Alexander, from Eriswell, with a giant penguin ANL-161117-231101009

At 7pm, at a flick of a switch, Bury MP Jo Churchill threw the town into colour, a spectacle that hundreds of men and women, boys and girls, had turned out to see.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bury’s Business Improvement District (BID) Ourburystedmunds, which organised the event, said: “I am absolutely delighted that so many people attended last night’s Switch On event bearing in mind the awful weather in the afternoon. Our Operatic Santa went down a storm and the penguins were as popular as ever.”

He added: “I am always so impressed with the quality of our on stage performers from local schools. I am also really glad we approached West Suffolk College for some post Switch On entertainment as both groups were brilliant.

“I think the town looks lovely and the brand new lights in the arc are superb. So everything is set up to welcome the thousands of visitors to the town for the Christmas Fayre next weekend.”

The Jessica Barber Academy of Dance put on a show for the crowds in Charter Square  ANL-161117-231113009

The Jessica Barber Academy of Dance put on a show for the crowds in Charter Square ANL-161117-231113009

Mrs Churchill said: “It was a real pleasure to turn on this year’s Christmas lights in Bury town centre. Every year it is a wonderful evening of festivities for all the family and, despite the rain, everyone turned out in their thousands with immense Christmas cheer to kick off the festive season.

“A huge thank you to Mark Cordell and all those at Ourburystedmunds BID who do so much for our town, and to everyone who helped make it such a special evening.”

Let us know what you thought of the event by emailing news@buryfreepress.co.uk

Rodeo reindeer ridden by Joel Gordon, aged six, from Bury, with his sister Millie, aged nine ANL-161117-231138009

Rodeo reindeer ridden by Joel Gordon, aged six, from Bury, with his sister Millie, aged nine ANL-161117-231138009

Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary School on the main stage ANL-161117-231150009

Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary School on the main stage ANL-161117-231150009

Bury branch of the Samaritans with a cake stall ANL-161117-230855009

Bury branch of the Samaritans with a cake stall ANL-161117-230855009

Penguins in Abbeygate Street  ANL-161117-230919009

Penguins in Abbeygate Street ANL-161117-230919009

Theatre Royal panto cast ANL-161117-230723009

Theatre Royal panto cast ANL-161117-230723009

Crowds gather ready for the switch on  ANL-161117-230514009

Crowds gather ready for the switch on ANL-161117-230514009

Singing Santa  ANL-161117-230344009

Singing Santa ANL-161117-230344009

Bury MP Jo Churchill gets the honour of switching on the lights y ANL-161117-230356009

Bury MP Jo Churchill gets the honour of switching on the lights y ANL-161117-230356009