THE festive season was launched in style in Whitchurch on Saturday as the town staged its Christmas lights switch-on, attended by thousands of people.

A host of activities were laid on from 10am to 6pm, including a visit from Father Christmas, an outdoor market, children’s crafts, a Christmas fair and children’s rides.

There was a “Frozen” theme to proceedings, and highlights of the day included a lantern parade at 4.30pm and the switching on of the lights at 5pm by Great British Bake Off star, Whitchurch’s Diana Beard.

Town Centre Manager Zoe Dean said: “Although the event was chiefly organised by the Town Council, there are a lot of people I would like to thank who contributed their time, their expertise and their funds in order to make the lights switch on an event to remember.

“Thanks must go to Diana Beard for switching on the lights, the Lantern Parade organisers Sarah Vaughan and Clare Bellingham, Steve Chapman and Alun Hughes for the “Frozen” sleigh, Prism Lighting, Jason Wainwright, Andy Hall, Simon Lyon, Whitchurch Chamber of Trade, Shropshire Council, Whitchurch Rotary Club, Henshall’s Supplies, Angela at Veolia Recycling, Petrina Robinson, Rona Hayward,  Beacon Church and Whitchurch Fairtrade Group, along with everyone at the Masonic Rooms, the hardworking facilities staff at the Civic Centre and all of the volunteers – the event couldn’t have taken place without you.”

Mayor Cllr Rob Hewson said: “It was an excellent evening – it is the first time Whitchurch Town Council has taken the lead in this event, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed, especially all the volunteers.

“It was such a proud day for me as Mayor, to see thousands of people showing support for our initiative was fantastic – there was a great atmosphere in the town.”

Winners from the Frozen Competition were Evie Hall, Lacy Hallmark, Faith Brocklehurst and Tiana Tinsley. The winners still have a grand prize each to collect from the Civic Centre!

In the evening visitors enjoyed a variety of musical entertainment featuring The Fauls Singers and Maurice Posniak at The Mayor’s Charity Concert hosted at the Civic Centre.

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