North Herts lights up for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 16:46 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:46 27 November 2017

The crowd after the Hitchin Christmas lights switch-on. Picture: Alan Millard

The crowd after the Hitchin Christmas lights switch-on. Picture: Alan Millard

Archant

The wait for the Christmas lights is finally over in Hitchin, Letchworth and Stevenage Old Town as the big switch-ons were held over the weekend.

Hitchin’s switch-on was on Friday evening, with the Christmas tree arriving in Market Place mere hours before the switch-on – the delay coming due to traffic congestion caused by Channel 4’s filming of Humans in the town.

Young competition winner Ethan Williams, from Ickleford, rode into town on Dennis the fire engine to turn on the tree lights at about 6.15pm.

The switch-on was organised by Hitchin BID and community company Ladder 87, and Market Place was packed for street food and live music from Choir on Fire, the Singing Elves and the New Town Centres.

Town centre manager Keith Hoskins said it was in keeping with the spirit of Christmas that a child had turned on the town lights.

Letchworth’s switch-on took place on Saturday with an all-day event complete with street food stalls, fairground rides, parade and live music in the town centre.

The moment everyone was waiting for – the lights switch-on – took place at 5.30pm by the main stage outside The Platform pub, with Father Christmas pushing the plunger.

The crowd cheered as they kicked off Christmas. Afterwards a firework display lit up the sky with bright colours, making it well worth braving the cold.

In Stevenage Old Town, Stevenage Old Town Business and Community Partnership welcomed in the festive season with a series of events.

Letchworth's Christmas lights switch-on. Picture: Alan Millard Letchworth's Christmas lights switch-on. Picture: Alan Millard

From 3pm the Methodist Church and Holy Trinity Churches – both on the High Street – worked with Stevenage North Children’s Centres to host Christmas messy churches for families. Activities included children making lanterns which they paraded around the churches.

The Christmas lights were turned on at 5pm on the Bowling Green by this year’s lights poster competition winners Anya and Sienna.

The Stevenage town centre Christmas lights switch-on is on Thursday with Stevenage FC goalkeeper Chris Day set to turn on the lights at 6.30pm before fireworks.

In Baldock the big day is on Saturday when there will be a Christmas fair followed by a lights switch-on in High Street from 10am to 4pm.

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