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Crowds turn out as Spalding is all lit up for Christmas




Spalding Marching Ambassadors on parade at the Christmas lights switch-on. SG021217-200TW
Spalding Marching Ambassadors on parade at the Christmas lights switch-on. SG021217-200TW

Spalding’s Christmas lights were switched on during an afternoon of family entertainment on Saturday.

There was a parade led by Santa Claus on his sleigh and featuring Spalding Marching Ambassadors as well as tinsel festooned motorbikes and fancy dressers from the Triumph Motorcycle Club.

MP John Hayes, Jan Whitbourn, Rotary's Santa Claus, Andy Molsom and Niall Dignall on stage after the big countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on. SG021217-205TW
MP John Hayes, Jan Whitbourn, Rotary's Santa Claus, Andy Molsom and Niall Dignall on stage after the big countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on. SG021217-205TW

Bobby Bear was on patrol with the police, meeting his many young friends, and there were other larger than life characters mingling with the crowds.

There was live entertainment on a stage in Market Place and MP John Hayes joined Santa and entertainments organiser Jan Whitbourn there for the countdown to the switch-on.

For the first time, the event included a talent competition, sponsored by opticians Molsom and Associates, of Hall Place.

Around a dozen people of all ages took part.

The winner was Jaz Johnson, who receives a £100 first prize thanks to Andy Molsom, who donated three cash prizes.

Second was singer-guitarist Elliott Dunbar, who receives £75, and third place went to Dominic Felts, who receives £50.

Jan Whitbourn said the competition gave local people the chance to show how talented they are, and mentioned that Elliott’s second place was all the more remarkable because he’s been playing guitar for only three months.

Also among those entertaining the crowds were Polka Dot Panto, who are this year performing Aladdin at the South Holland Centre, dance group Diamondz DG, and singers Helen Verney and Niall Dignall.

Jan hopes more businesses will come on board next year to build the switch-on into an even bigger and better event, and says the public were in great spirits on Saturday.

She said: “It was a nice, warm atmosphere and people were enjoying themselves.”

• More pictures inside the Spalding Guardian.

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