Pictures: Ilfracombe’s Christmas lights switch on

Abi Calvert and Darcy Baldock at the Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights.

Abi Calvert and Darcy Baldock at the Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights. - Credit: Archant

‘Best crowd in years’ as thousands gather to kick off ‘combe’s Christmas

Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights 2015.

Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights 2015. - Credit: Archant

Thousands turned out to enjoy Ilfracombe’s Lighting of the Lights last night (Wednesday) with what many said was the best crowd in years.

This year Small Pond Production’s cast of Oliver! gathered on the open top bus to entertain the crowd with songs from their show before carrying out the big switch on.

It was preceded by a short service led by the Reverend Robert Harris and followed by fireworks to herald the start of Ilfracombe’s Christmas.

Then the bus, followed by Santa in his sleigh and the crowds, headed for the high street where there was entertainment, refreshments and stalls.

The cast of Oliver! on the bus

The cast of Oliver! on the bus - Credit: Archant

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The Lantern Centre also officially reopened at 7pm after refurbishment, with a steady stream of people heading inside to take a look and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies.

Shops in Ilfracombe displaying the yellow poster will be open every Thursday evening between now and Christmas.

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Harbour & Fore Street Christmas

Ilfracombe harbour and Fore Street kick off their Christmases on Sunday.

The harbour Christmas event and the switching on of its lights runs from 1-5pm, with a table top sale and Santa at Pip & Jim’s Community Hall.

The nearby Fore Street Christmas Market runs from 3-7pm there will be stalls selling a wide range of gifts and crafts, plus sideshows and street entertainment and of course Father Christmas will be in attendance.

The street will be filled with music, with performers and local musicians offering everything form carols to sea shanties.

The ‘gastro’ street’s hotels, pubs and restaurants will be joining in with street food vendors to offer a variety of tasty treats and meals throughout the afternoon.

It all begins with the ceremonial lighting of the Fore Street lights to get the festive season up and running.

There will be a harbour Christmas drawing competition for age categories up to 10, 10 to 16 and 16 to adult – any media (paints, pencils, crayons) but no photos.

Entries should be handed in at St James Dairy by 2pm on Saturday, with the judging on Sunday at the fair.

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