Pictures: Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights 2017
PUBLISHED: 21:08 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 21:28 27 November 2017
Tim Lamerton Photography
Scenes from the start of Ilfracombe Christmas 2017 - with new festive lights to boot
Ilfracombe celebrated the start of Christmas in style tonight (Friday) as thousands turned out for the annual Lighting of the Lights.
As ever, the ‘square’ by the war memorial was overflowing with people ready to enjoy the festivities.
A lantern lit parade of two or three hundred children and parents, together with stilt-walkers and costumed characters, made its way along the High Street to the square.
Compere Lee Baxendale kept the crowd in the festive spirit and introduced special guest Nicki French, who is playing the Wicked Witch in this year’s pantomime Beauty and the Beast at the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple, and Ilfracombe mayor Paul Crabb officially switched the lights on.
Organisers Combe Christmas have pulled out all the stops this year and numerous volunteers have worked hard to give the town a festive special.
Charmain Lovett of the Combe Christmas Committee paid tribute to the many who had made it possible and thanked numerous people for their support, including committee chairman Steve Trebble and the electricians who gave up their time for free to install the new Christmas lights.
New lights at the square and in the High Street were made possible by fundraising, plus the town received a boost this year when it won £10,000 in lights at the Blachère Christmas Lights Competition earlier on in the year in Blackpool.
Tonight’s switch-on saw a Christmas blessing from Father John Roles and short speeches from town crier Roy Goodwin and the mayor, Paul Crabb, before Lee led the crowd in the countdown and Christmas in Ilfracombe officially started.
Then it was off to the High Street to meet Santa, more colourful characters and enjoy the variety of food and drink on offer.