When is Ilfracombe’s Lighting of the Lights?

Crowds gather each year for Ilfracombe's Lighting of the Lights

Crowds gather each year for Ilfracombe's Lighting of the Lights - Credit: Archant

Don’t miss festive switch-on this Wednesday evening at 7pm

Join Santa and his elves at events around Ilfracombe this Christmas

Join Santa and his elves at events around Ilfracombe this Christmas - Credit: Archant

Ilfracombe is gearing up for the start of its community Christmas at the Lighting of the Lights tomorrow (Wednesday).

The big switch on is at 7pm, with thousands expected to gather at the square by the war memorial from around 6pm onwards.

This year the cast of Oliver! from Small Pond Productions will be carrying out the switch-on from atop the now familiar open-topped bus.

Families will gather to enjoy the entertainment and then follow the bus and Santa’s sleigh into the High Street for a spot of late night shopping.

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In the build up to the switch on, a parade of local schoolchildren bearing lanterns will set off from Oxford Grove at around 6.35pm and reach the war memorial at 6.45.

There will be carols and readings from atop the open-topped bus before the countdown.

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The Lantern Centre is also hosting its official reopening tomorrow (Wednesday).

In conjunction with Lighting of the Lights, doors at the Lantern open at 7pm for refreshments, children’s craft activities and Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir will be singing carols.

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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