Hitchin Christmas lights switch-on in pictures

Hitchin's Christmas lights switch-on was the biggest event Hitchin BID had hosted

Hitchin's Christmas lights switch-on was the biggest event Hitchin BID had hosted, with between 2,500 and 3,000 people in attendance - Credit: Martin Wootton

Hitchin's town centre Christmas lights switch-on event returned with a bang this year, with Hitchinites flocking to Market Place to watch the magic of Christmas unfurl in front of their very eyes.

The event was the biggest Hitchin BID had ever put on, with between 2,500 and 3,000 people attending at peak times.

"It's probably our most complicated event to put on, because there's about 14 different things happening at any one time!" town centre manager Tom Hardy told the Comet.

Fun was had by people of all ages at Hitchin's annual Christmas light switch on, hosted and organised by Hitchin BID

Fun was had by people of all ages at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch on, hosted and organised by Hitchin BID - Credit: Martin Wootton

Taking a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic, Tom added that it was worth the wait to put on the annual yuletide extravaganza in all its glory.

"It was fantastic!" he said. "There was such a great atmosphere. I can't believe how many people attended!

Herts Showband processed down Bancroft to Market place in Hitchin, where the Christmas lights were officially turned on

Herts Showband processed down Bancroft to Market Place in Hitchin, where the Christmas lights were officially turned on - Credit: Martin Wootton

"Over the last three or four years, the demographic of the town has really changed from the older generation to young families and people moving from London, and you can really see that from Saturday's event.

"A lot of young people just wanted to get out there after a horrible 18 months, and just feel Christmassy again.

Hitchin's Christmas light switch-on was shared with people from all over through the magic of technology

Hitchin's Christmas lights switch-on was shared with people from all over through the magic of technology - Credit: Martin Wootton

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"It's got a really good community feel, the town, and Hitchin's always had that. People love coming out for events."

Tom and Hitchin BID used the opportunity to celebrate the H-Town Business Awards, championing the independent retailers, traders and eateries that enrich the town centre.

Hitchin High Street illuminated by Christmas lights after the official switch-on event, put on by Hitchin BID

Hitchin High Street illuminated by Christmas lights after the official switch-on event, put on by Hitchin BID - Credit: Martin Wootton

"For me, it's not just about celebrating the best of the town, it's to recognise all businesses, and how hard they've worked over the past 18 months. With staff shortages, stock shortages, and not knowing whether they're going into another tier or lockdown, it's been really challenging, and I think its commendable that they've managed to get through this pandemic and still be trading."

Mulled wine and other festive favourites were served up at Hitchin's annual Christmas light switch-on

Mulled wine and other festive favourites were served up at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch-on - Credit: Martin Wootton

Continuing with the Christmas spirit, Hitchin's Christmas market is set to return on December 8 until December 21.

Hitchin town centre manager Tom Hardy ahead of the Herts Showband procession at the annual Christmas light switch-on

Town centre manager Tom Hardy ahead of the Herts Showband procession on Hitchin High Street at the annual Christmas lights switch-on - Credit: Martin Wootton

Santa addressing the crowds at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch-on, ahead of pushing the plunger

Santa addressing the crowds at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch-on, ahead of pushing the plunger - Credit: Martin Wootton

Fake snow showers the crowd at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch-on 

Fake snow showers the crowd at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch-on - Credit: Martin Wootton

Foam snow was showered over the excited crowd at Hitchin's annual Christmas light switch-on event

Foam snow was showered over the excited crowd at Hitchin's annual Christmas lights switch-on event - Credit: Martin Wootton

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