Penguins and a baby reindeer will help it begin to look a lot like Christmas in the town centre next week (Thursday, November 16) for the annual Our Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Switch On event.
A packed programme of street and stage entertainment, festive fundraising stalls for charities, an appearance by the Snow Queen and her snowman friend, as well as free parking after 4pm will start the build up to the main attraction of the evening when the town is lit up at the flick of a switch at 7pm. Entertainment will then continue until 8pm.
More good causes than ever have booked market stalls for the evening and the charity theme will continue for the Switch On itself, which is being performed by one of the town’s hardest working volunteers. Lou Hovell has given nearly 9,000 hours of her time to the British Heart Foundation in Bury St Edmunds and has been recognised with its Anglia Region Volunteer of the Year award.
The event is one of the annual crowd-pleasers run by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds.
Chief executive Mark Cordell said: “The BID works really hard to make sure the town has a stunning selection of Christmas Lights and every year we look at ways in which we can make the evening more fun as we prepare for the festive season. A couple of weeks later we’ll also be unveiling our vintage dodgems Christmas attraction and in December Father Christmas is bringing his log-cabin Grotto to Charter Square.
“Father Christmas often makes an appearance for the Switch On ceremony but this year we’ve also enlisted the help of Lou. Our Bury St Edmunds recognises those who work hard for town centre organisations and we feel we’ve invited a truly inspiring person to switch on the lights.
The build up to the switch on will begin from around 3pm. There will be a full programme of stage entertainment outside Moyses Hall from 3.15pm, fairground rides on Cornhill and Buttermarket and the event marks the start of free parking on a Thursday from 4pm for late night shoppers. This is in addition to the year-round promotion of Free from 3pm parking on a Tuesday.
For more information visit www.ourburystedmunds.com.
Pictured above is Father Christmas at the 2016 Our Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Switch On event