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VIDEO: Festive penguins kickstart the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Switch-On celebrations

Crowds are gathering to witness the adorable waddling of Bury St Edmunds’ annual festive visitors.

Four penguins – Charlie, Two Dots, Farrari and Wigdet – are currently exploring their enclosure at the top of Abbeygate Street, watched by adults and children alike.

The penguins prepare for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Switch-On ANL-161117-164727001
The penguins prepare for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Switch-On ANL-161117-164727001

The birds, aged from 16 years to 10 months, are a popular part of the annual Ourburystedmunds Christmas Lights Switch-On event and are full-fledged celebrities having appeared in a number of TV adverts and even walked the red carpet at the Mr Popper’s Penguins film premiere.

Penguin keeper Barbara Marquez said: “They are very inquisitive so often you see them pottering around looking at everyone and everything. The public love them – they come here every year.”

On why they are always such a hit, she said: “I think it’s because they’re characters and even if you just come and look at them you can pick up on their characters because they’re cheeky.”

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Ourburystedmunds, said: “I was quite concerned when I saw the heavy rain and strong winds earlier but I’m delighted it seems to have passed over. The penguins are as popular an attraction as ever and there are lots of other attractions planned in the lead up to the lights switch-on tonight at 7pm.”

Tonight’s events, which include a packed programme of street and stage entertainment, will run until 8pm,

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