Huntingdonshire sparkles as towns and villages switch on Christmas lights

St Neots lights

St Neots lights - Credit: Archant

Towns and villages have turned on marvellous light displays for the festive period with many being watched by thousands over the weekend.

Families filled Ramsey as the town celebrated 50 years of Christmas lights in the centre with the ‘best-ever’ switch-on.

A crowd of around 5,000 were in awe as the spectacular display was illuminated on Sunday by Ramsey mayor Councillor Adella Costello, BBC Look East presenter Andrew Sinclair and a town youngster.

Councillor Lisa Duffy, chairman of the Ramsey Christmas Lights Committee, said: “The day went really well, it’s the first time that we have gone from the afternoon right through to the evening.

“The whole community pulled together for this 50th anniversary. It really was delivered by the community for the community.”

The town centre was filled throughout the day with market stalls, including an Italian market, and a craft fayre. The switch-on was also supported by St Nick himself with a grotto.

On the stage in Great Whyte there was also a “something for everyone” as a host of performances where put on by local dance school, bands and even a performance by Ramsey Spinning Infants.

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After the long-awaited switch-on a fireworks display which was put together by business owner Graham Knight.

Cllr Duffy added: “The fireworks were amazing. We’ve had a lot of feedback on social media about the day and people have said that it’s the best Christmas lights switch-on Ramsey has ever had.”

Residents in Bury also gathered in their hundreds earlier this month, as the Christmas lights switch-on got underway.

Meeting outside Bury Stores, in High Street, visitors took their places as streams of glittering white lights were turned on in trees nearby.

The event, on November 25, also saw plenty of food and drink on hand for residents to enjoy, thanks to Bury Stores owner, Arumugasamy Thusyanthan.David Wakefield, who sits on Bury Parish Council, said: “It went really well thanks to him. He gets customers to cook some food and they go in and help him. He’s brilliant and he’s done so much for the village it’s unbelievable.”

This is the fifth year Mr Thusyanthan has helped organise the event, which also saw schoolchildren sing in a choir and Chairman of Huntingdonshire District Council, Councillor Peter Bucknell, switch on the lights.

Cllr Wakefield added: “For a small village it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Thousands of people turned out to this year’s Christmas lights switch-on in St Neots on Sunday.

Families were able to enjoy the attractions, which included a Christmas market, food and drink and Bubbles the Bear who entertained children with his antics during a walkabout.

The stage entertainment, hosted by Mark Hansard and Gary Lee from Black Cat Radio, kept the crowds entertained with Christmas music, and there were performances from amateur dramatic groups, a choir and dance groups, including Langdale Academy, who entertained the crowd.

Emilio Saavedra was the special guest invited by St Neots Town Council to switch on the town’s lights. Emilio, aged eight, has a condition called Neurofibromatosis, and was supported on stage by his family.

The reigning Miss Cambridgeshire, Alissa King-Underwood, also from St Neots, joined the family on stage with the town mayor, Councillor Derek Giles for the big switch-on. Emilio wished the crowd a merry Christmas before leading a 10-second countdown before pushing the plunger to light up the town. This was followed by a spectacular fireworks display courtesy of the renowned Kimbolton Fireworks.

Katie Williams, town development manager for St Neots Town Council, who organised the event said: “I am thrilled to hear so many people enjoyed the entertainment at this year’s Christmas lights.

“It is such a large event to deliver and we are always at the mercy of the weather with it being particularly unpredictable at this time of year, so you never really know if people are going to turn out. It was so rewarding to see so many people enjoying themselves on Sunday, which makes all the hard work that goes into it all the more worthwhile.

“The success of this event would not have been possible if it wasn’t for my colleagues and councillors at the town council, the team at Black Cat Radio, the staff and volunteers at the museum, our suppliers and the support of the local media.”