Ilfracombe lighting of the lights brings out the crowds

Picture special: Ilfracombe celebrates the switch on of its Christmas lights.

THOUSANDS turned out in Ilfracombe on Wednesday for the town’s annual lighting of the lights celebration.

The popular community event organised by Ilfracombe High Street Traders saw the square at the war memorial packed with people keen to make a start on the Christmas festivities.

RNLI mascot Stormy Stan was guest of honour to lead the switch on countdown, linking in with Ilfracombe RNLI’s new appeal to raise money for a state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat.

A lantern lit parade of hundreds of local schoolchildren, led by Town Crier Roy Goodwin, heralded the start of the event, followed by a short blessing conducted by the Reverend Robert Harris.

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From an open-top bus provided by Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park, assisted by MC Ray Woof, Stan – joined by the Mayor Lynda Courtnadge with husband Richard and Nick Pedlar of the High Street traders - he led the crowd in the traditional countdown.

After the ceremony and led by the TLC Santa Sleigh, the crowds and the bus headed to the High Street for late night shopping, entertainment, refreshments and a variety of stalls and activities.

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* CLICK on the gallery link to top the right of this story to see more pictures.

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