THE rain didn’t dampen the festive mood as thousands of people enjoyed an afternoon of festive entertainment for the whole family as Tamworth’s festive season got underway with the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights on Sunday.
The yuletide season was kicked off in style with a Christmas market which had more than 30 stalls, live music, fairground rides, treasure hunt, a live nativity in George Street near the Town Hall by members of St Francis Church, walkabout characters, dance performances and personal appearances from Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall.
Paw Patrol were the undoubted stars of the show, with children flocking to see them in Ankerside and chanting for them when they appeared on the main stage in St Editha’s Square where they danced with Santa and the Mayor.
The switch-on also coincided with the annual Christmas Tree Festival in St Editha’s Church, which gave visitors the chance to admire dozens of trees decorated by schools, businesses, local groups and individuals.
The focal point for the afternoon of fun was the Touch FM stage in St Editha’s Square, featuring live performances from Matilda Pratt, Just Perform, Glenn Chevannes & Dancers, Upbeat Dance Company, Tamworth Voices, Tamworth Panto Company and The Glamophones.
An estimated 5,000 people flocked to the town centre to enjoy the free festive fun, despite the rain. The event culminated in the switching on of the lights at 5pm by Grace Jay, the 10-year-old winner of the Tamworth in Bloom Cubs Bake-Off, with a little help from Santa, Mayor of Tamworth Cllr Ken Norchi and members of her Polesworth (Abbey) Cub pack.
Visitors took to social media during and after the event with their comments. Julie Pratt said: “There was a lovely buzz about the town, really got us into the Christmassy mood, so well done again for putting on this fabulous event.”
Mark Gibson: “Loads of stalls around tonight. Ankerside open late, packed square for the countdown, so many kids going crazy for Paw Patrol. Another great free event in our town.”
Stacey Michele Mackay: “It was so lovely, my little boy and my niece were blown away. It was the best thing watching their little faces when they saw Santa and Paw Patrol.”
Jody Mogg: “It was lovely. We have taken our little one every year – it’s a great community event.”
Sharon Lawson: “We were on the Pokemon and Yu Go Oh stall, we met some lovely people today, lovely to see families out together.”
Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Ken Norchi, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on is the perfect way to start the seasonal festivities in Tamworth.
“Once again the committee of organisers did us proud with another fantastic and enjoyable afternoon of fun which really got everyone in the festive mood. There was something for everyone to enjoy and it was great to see families and people of all ages enjoying themselves.”