Hundreds turn out for Stevenage Christmas lights switch-ons
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Crowds in their hundreds turned out for two Christmas lights switch-on events in Stevenage on Thursday and Saturday.
The first of the two took place in Stevenage town centre’s Town Square on Thursday.
The festive event included live music, face painting and more before the big switch-on and fireworks display.
Taking the stage was Stevenage’s own The Voice star Tai Bantick and James Acraman, who holds the Guinness World Record for sport stacking a 171-cup pyramid in 59.1 seconds.
There was plenty going on off-stage to entertain the crowds, with Christmas markets, food stalls, a selfie snowglobe and fairground rides.
Town centre manager Tina Benson told the Comet: “Members of the public had a brilliant night. We had a variety of activities for children – face painting, meeting Santa and Mrs Clause, and prize draws.
“We also heard from a mix of live performances. with the likes of Dacosta Boyce, saxman Johnny Dingle, Warriorz Performing Acts Academy, 2018 The Voice contestant Tai, and none other than Guinness World Record title holder James Acraman, who switched on the lights.
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“The atmosphere had a real festive feel.”
NSPCC volunteers also went along to the event, where the charity launched its Light For Every Child campaign to raise awareness of the growing issue of neglect across the UK.
Jacqui Venters, the NSPCC’s community fundraising manager for Hertfordshire, said: “The NSPCC relies on opportunities like the Stevenage Christmas Lights Switch-On to raise as much funding as possible so we can provide vulnerable children with the support they need.”
A second switch-on took place in Stevenage High Street on Saturday, courtesy of the town’s Old Town Business and Community Partnership.
From 3pm, Messy Church at the Holy Trinity High Street Methodist Church and Bunyan Baptist made lanterns, ready for the latern parades up to the Bowling Green from 4.45pm.
This was followed by a choir performance led by the Let’s Sing children’s choir.
Christmas poster competition winners Sam Gray and Anita Hosea then pressed the all-important red button at 5.30pm to illuminate the Old Town with its festive display and Christmas tree.