Huntingdonshire kicks off Christmas celebrations at lights switch-on

THOUSANDS flocked to see the Christmas lights being switched-on in towns and villages across Huntingdonshire this week.

Huntingdon Mayor, Councillor Alan Mackender-Lawrence, and his granddaughter Katie Shaw, 3, turned on the Christmas lights with Father Christmas after a parade through the town.

The procession, which was led by the Savoy Jazz Band, included a fairy on stilts and a mascot from Grafham Water. Starting at the Three Tuns, the parade made its way through the town before reaching Market Square where a crowd awaited the switch-on.

Katy Sismore, Huntingdon Town Partnership manager, said: “It went brilliantly and the real highlight was the fact Huntingdon Community Radio were able to broadcast live from the square all day.

“Hoards of people turned up to pack the square and surrounding streets. It was a real community event - there are far too many people to thank for their help to name.”

A grotto was set up by community fundraising group Hullabaloo for children to tell Father Christmas their list of presents and several charity stalls were set up around the square to raise money.

Performers Lost, Small Fish, Mizmerize and Slightly Chilled entertained the crowd from 13.30pm till the switch-on at 4.45pm.

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In St Ives, mayor Martin Collier switched on the lights in front of 2,000 people, while eight-year-old Harvey Munns won a raffle to turn on the lights in Ramsey.

In Warboys, there was a frantic rush to repair the Christmas tree display after vandals cut through two sets of the lights.

And in St Neots, mayor Barry Chapman hailed the Christmas lights switch-on as “the biggest event since the Millenium” after the event attracted 4,000 people.