Annual parade and switch on ceremony switches to Sunday

BIDEFORD’S annual Christmas lights and reindeer parade this year switches to a Sunday for the first time.

With the move to November 27, the popular attraction is expected to draw even bigger crowds into town for the family festivities, including those who have previously missed out because they have to work on Saturdays.

Once again the Bideford Christmas Committee has been working hard to promote one of the best seasonal events in the region.

This year the lights will be switched on at 5pm by a young member of the Children’s Holiday Foundation North Devon, followed by the reindeer parade at 5.30pm, which will make its way along The Quay, via Allhalland Street, Mill Street and Bridgeland Street and back to the Quay.

Thanks to Bideford Town Council there will be more lights than ever, including decorations on every light standard along the Quay.

Festivities will this year will also include fireworks, with a display scheduled to take place between 6.30pm and 7pm on the eastern riverbank.

There will be fun throughout the afternoon and evening, starting from 1pm, with fairground rides, street entertainers and food stalls.

A big feature of the afternoon will be children’s favourite Titan the robot, who will be appearing at 2pm and 3.30pm.

Other attractions include the Hopps & Chapple roadshow, the Kingsley School Choir and saxophonist Graham Clarke, who will provide musical treats with Christmas carols.

With everything in place, Darren Sparrey and his fellow organisers are now keeping fingers crossed that the new date will also bring better luck with the weather after the last two years of seasonal soakings.

Although people, particularly the children, are still excited and enthusiastic, whatever the weather, a fine day would make it even better, said Darren.