All lit up

ON behalf of the Huntingdon Christmas Lights Committee I would like to say a big thank-you to everyone who came along to the Big Switch-On event in Huntingdon on Sunday November 23. It was a great afternoon packed with a wide variety of entertainment, end

ON behalf of the Huntingdon Christmas Lights Committee I would like to say a big thank-you to everyone who came along to the Big Switch-On event in Huntingdon on Sunday November 23. It was a great afternoon packed with a wide variety of entertainment, ending with the switch on of the Christmas lights from the town hall balcony.

I would particularly like to thank all the local groups who performed in Chequers Court and the market square. The standard of the performances was exceptionally high for the music, singing and dancing and we have received many compliments.

Behind the scenes at the Big Switch On there are lots of volunteers who make sure the day goes without a hitch. The volunteers help Father Christmas, the stalls for good causes, the many youth performing groups and much more. Thank you for your work, that goes on in many cases throughout the year.

At the start of 2008 there was some concern over the funding of the Huntingdon Christmas lights and the costs involved. Through a range of grants, donations and fundraising activities we covered the cost of the lights and the switch-on event, which was in excess of £12,000. Thank you to everyone who helped us along the way to this amazing target, including supporters of the 500 Club, businesses that donated hard cash or prizes (or both), sellers and buyers of raffle tickets, Cromwell Park School which held a dress-down day, everyone who came along to the Spice Land fundraising dinner, Waitrose, which included us in the Community Matters appeal, and finally the Sea Cadets for two days' bag packing at Waitrose - still one date to go on December 21. It has truly been a community event supported by the local Huntingdon community.


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The challenge does not stop there, though: 2008 saw the testing of the bolts and wires at a cost of £3,000 and, looking to the future, next year may see the need for timer switches at £1,500-plus, then by 2011 the bulbs have to be changed to LED. It would also be great to invest in some bigger and brighter displays.

KATY SISMORE

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Huntingdon Town Partnership Manager

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