Chatteris is sparkling for Christmas after the annual lights switch on
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Chatteris for the popular annual Christmas lights switch on.
From a small idea and just one tree decorated with lights in 1985, it has grown into one of the region’s finest lights displays.
The lights were officially switched on by four year old Zuzanna Bropzinska of Kingsfield Primary School, amid cheering, following a warm up routine by Flip from Zak FM and DJ Sooty.
Chris Savill, Christmas Lights Committee chairman, said: “It was a huge success helped this year by the town council who gave us a grant of £9,000.
“There are many superb light displays in the region but I think in the Fens we really excel, of course we think ours in Chatteris is up there e with the best, but there are many lighting up towns and villages that are just brilliant”
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This year’s switch on included music from brass ensemble Variant, the sparkling Christmas tree festival, fun fair rides, stalls, the Salvation Army Christmas fair and a soup kitchen run by Emmanuel Church.
There was also a tour of the town by Santa in his sleigh.
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Marshalls on the night raised £330 with bucket collections and visitors enjoyed a range of festive refreshments.
Visitors congratulated the mammoth effort by organisers.
One said on Facebook : “Wonderful evening at Chatteris, all shops opened and welcoming with mulled wine, mince pies, sausage rolls and lots of sweets for everyone.
“It was a fantastic start to Christmas, well-done to you all, more towns should do this.”
The Chatteris lights began in 1985 when a small group of volunteers set about the task of raising funds to provide Christmas Lighting around the town.
Since then £120,000 has been raised through collections, raffles and many other events to maintain and expand the scheme.
The current replacement value of the display is in excess of £100,000.
Each year more than £8,000 is spent on materials to maintain and upgrade the display.
Chatteris Town Council usually donate in the region of £3,000 but this year gave £9,000 to help the committee keep the event bigger and brighter.