It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as record crowds flocked to Bury St Edmunds’ festive lights switch-on.
Thousands descended on the event, organised by town centre improvement organisation OurBuryStEdmunds, which featured penguins, reindeer, stalls, funfair rides and entertianment.
The switch-on readies Bury for this week’s Christmas Fayre - one of the biggest in the town’s calendar - and late night shopping.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of OurBuryStEdmunds, said: “It was superb. From my view it was the biggest crowd we’ve ever had.
“The penguins and reindeer were very popular as usual and we had lots of happy, smiley faces.”
The switch-on coincided with St Edmund’s Day and the ceremony was performed by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy, who campaigned to see St Edmund replace St George as England’s Patron Saint.
Stage entertainemnt included local schools, West Suffolk College, a Blues Brothers tribute band and a number from the Theatre Royal’s highly anticipated panto Cinderella.
It is the fourth such event organised by OurBuryStEdmunds, which pays for the Christmas lights.
It was also the first Thursday of free from three parking in the town in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Mr Cordell added: “We would encourage people to shop local this year and support the local town centre.”