Huge crowds gather to watch Great Yarmouth Christmas lights switch on

Watching the firework display.  Picture: James Bass

Watching the firework display. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Tonight’s Christmas lights switch-on is underway in Great Yarmouth with large crowds already in the town centre enjoying the Christmas Fayre.

The three-day festive extravaganza will attract thousands of families into the town centre to enjoy festive food, stalls and entertainment, between Friday, November 25 and Sunday, November 27.

The fayre is part of the Town Centre Initiative, Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s additional efforts to boost footfall, trade and the local economy, and is organised by the council in partnership with Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership and the Minster.

The fun began today (Friday, November 25) at 10am, when Cllr Malcolm Bird, the mayor, led the official opening ceremony at the Minster, home to around 25 handcraft stalls over the weekend.

The opening ceremony was heralded by a short performance from the Norwegian Lardal Kantori choir, who performed a full concert at the Minster on the Saturday evening.

Over the three days of the fayre, there will be a wide range of special covered stalls in the Market Place, selling festive food, gifts and crafts, including toys, sweets, jewellery and chutneys.

In addition, Santa’s Roadtrain will run a free shuttle service between the Market Place and the Minster, where there will be further craft stalls. And on the Friday and Saturday, shoppers will be able to buy seafood, meat, fruit, vegetables and other produce at the historic charter market.

The fayre will also feature free live performances in the Market Place, including by Great Yarmouth Brass and Paul Amer, who will be singing the Michael Bublé Christmas songbook. And there will be fun and frolics from walkabout characters, the Princesses, and Father Christmas and the Elves.

The closing ceremony will take place on the Sunday, at 3.30pm, when Cllr Bird will lead a procession through the Market Place to the Minster, where there will be a further performance by the Lardal Kantori choir.

The fayre runs tomorrow (Saturday, November 26) and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

To give shoppers extra time to buy Christmas gifts, town centre shops will be open late from Wednesday, November 30 to Wednesday, December 21. Free family entertainment will be taking place on each Wednesday evening.

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