Festival of lights in the rain still shines for Spalding

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A seasonal curtain-raiser for children, parents, singers, dancers and pets had the rain for company as Spalding’s Christmas lights lit up the town centre on Saturday.

Dance troupes, singer-songwriters, a school choir competition and a Tulip Queen competition were just some of the ingredients on the menu for annual festive event.

Ayscoughfee Hall School won the school choir vote, ahead of St John the Baptist School and The Priory School, all three based in Spalding.

But the main vote was for a new Tulip Queen to succeed Amy Cook, with Moulton Marsh A-level student Ella Holbrook (17) the new wearer of the crown.

Lesley Holbrook, Ella’s mum, said: “We’d just got back from London when Ella decided to enter the Tulip Queen competition and we chose to support her because she always dreamed of doing it.

“We’re very pleased for her because she always watched the flower parade when it was on and it’s nice when things go right for a change.”

Santa Claus and Tulip Queen Ella Holbrook amongst the crowd at Spalding's Christmas Lights Switch-On in Hall Place.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Santa Claus and Tulip Queen Ella Holbrook amongst the crowd at Spalding's Christmas Lights Switch-On in Hall Place. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Mr Hannant said: “I thought the mix of events and the various entertainers provided something for everyone throughout the day and considering the rain in the afternoon, the event was very well-attended.

“Tulip Radio did a cracking job again in organising the event and overcoming the technical challenge of delivering the sound and lighting system, in very wet conditions, so that the entertainment could get under way.

“I must also mention the sterling work put in by David Norton, Spalding & District Chamber of Commerce, the market inspectors from South Holland District Council and volunteer marshals from Spalding Royal Naval Association Branch without whose assistance the whole thing would have been a lot more difficult to deliver.

“South Holland Rotary Club again delivered Father Christmas on time in style, the district council made sure the Christmas tree was set up and the Christmas lights went on at the allotted time.

Ella decided to enter the Tulip Queen competition and we chose to support her because she always dreamed of doing it.

Lesley Holbrook, mum of Tulip Queen 2015-16 Ella Holbrook

“All in all, the switch-on was a fantastic event and in my view extremely successful.”

Meanwhile, South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, who helped switch on the lights, said: “It was great to see so many people having fun in a good atmosphere as Spalding was illuminated.

“It was wonderful to be with our new Tulip Queen and her deputy who both added grace to the occasion.”

‘Dream come true’ for new Tulip Queen Ella

The Alleycatz join the Christmas festivities in the town centre.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

The Alleycatz join the Christmas festivities in the town centre. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Lights go on for Christmas 2015 in Spalding town centre

Members of Spalding Royal Naval Association helping to marshal the crowds are Peter and Yvonne Crawford, Frank White, Simon Newcombe and Terry Day.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Members of Spalding Royal Naval Association helping to marshal the crowds are Peter and Yvonne Crawford, Frank White, Simon Newcombe and Terry Day. Photo by Tim Wilson.

The Royal British Legion Bikers who formed part of the Christmas parade through Spalding town centre.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

The Royal British Legion Bikers who formed part of the Christmas parade through Spalding town centre. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Ayscoughfee Hall School pupils celebrate winning the School Choir Competition at the Christmas Lights Switch-On in Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Ayscoughfee Hall School pupils celebrate winning the School Choir Competition at the Christmas Lights Switch-On in Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Spalding Marching Ambassadors lead the Christmas lights switch-on parade through the town centre.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Spalding Marching Ambassadors lead the Christmas lights switch-on parade through the town centre. Photo by Tim Wilson.