Festive family fun as Barnstaple kicks off its Christmas

Joseph Bulmer

Don’t miss the big Barnstaple Christmas lights switch on this Sunday.

A packed programme of festive events gets underway this Sunday with entertainment for all the family at the big Barnstaple Christmas lights switch on.

It of course marks the start of the town’s busy Christmas programme and as ever the emphasis will be on an afternoon of music and entertainment the whole family will enjoy ahead of the big switch on in the Square at 5.30pm.

Throwing that switch will be talented singer songwriter Dionne Bromfield, the god daughter of Amy Winehouse and who at the tender age of 15 is already being heralded as a huge star of the future.

She will be headlining a line up of local and national performers, adding to Barnstaple’s reputation for attracting top quality musical talent to shine on its festive stage.

Organisers BID Barnstaple and Barnstaple Town Centre Management are confident of delivering another fun-filled spectacle packed with festive spirit to suit all ages.

It heralds the beginning of another busy late night Christmas shopping extravaganza in the town, right up to Christmas Eve and featuring live music, street theatre and entertainment.

Once again it is being supported by various local businesses, including The Co-operative, which is sponsoring the event for the second year running with a donation of �5,000.

Younger revellers can also enjoy a traditional funfair on the Strand throughout the afternoon, while hot and cold refreshments will be available throughout.

Thousands of people are expected to pack the Square to enjoy a busy entertainment schedule that kicks off at 1pm with the Streetz Dance Crew, followed by rock and roll from The Elderly Brothers, then talented vocal duo Foley and Hepburn – alias popular and operatic singers Franz Hepburn and Jack Foley.

At 3pm the ladies of the RMB Chivenor Military Wives Choir, as seen on the new BBC2 series of The Choir with Gareth Malone, will be performing, followed by Damon Scott of Britain’s Got Talent fame, whose singing ventriloquist act with his monkey Bubbles saw him reach runner up spot in the first series of the show.

A Christmas Medley will follow, leading up to the big switch on by Dionne Bromfield at 5.30, before she performs her own set at 5.35.

“I think we have put together an exciting afternoon’s programme in which there is something for all the family,” said BID Barnstaple chairman Dane Stanley.

“We were very pleased to be able to secure Dionne for the switch on – she is a rising star and it’s good to have her here in North Devon. I am sure we will see and hear a lot more of her in the coming months and years.

“Thank go to all the businesses, sponsors and especially the volunteers, without whom we could not have put this together.”

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