GALLERY: Santa battles through biggest crowd in years to help with lights switch on in March

March Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams.

March Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Santa arrived several minutes late for the switch on of Christmas lights in March because of the huge crowd he had to negotiate his sleigh through.

March Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams.

March Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

“It was the biggest crowd in years- absolutely massive” said town clerk Clive Lemmon and secretary of the lights committee.

March Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. FACET Choir. Picture: Steve Williams.

March Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. FACET Choir. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

But the vast numbers who thronged the market place for the official switch on were not put off in the slightest by the delay.

They roared and cheered as Santa finally climbed the stairs of a huge trailer to help with the switch on.

His sleigh was built by members of March Lions Club with Trevor Stockbridge from March Lions Club master minding the building project.


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“I am delighted with the new sleigh which has new LED lights and a new sound system,” he said. “We are very grateful to everyone who made donations towards it.”

The honour of switching the lights on was given to Sean Doughty of FACET, and one of the charities being supported this year by the mayor Andrew Pugh.

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Mr Lemmon said work on lighting up March had been delayed slightly at the beginning of November as workmen were still in town installing new columns for street lamps.

“I would like to thank the four main volunteers who have worked so very hard to get our lights on,” said Mr Lemmon. “Without Dean Elkin, his son Clinton, and Mick Beer and Robert Peachey who only finished two hours before the switch on we would never have achieved this.”

March, said Mr Lemmon, had £41,000 worth of new lights this year “which may seem a lot but we have even more planned next year”.

The town was left a £25,000 legacy earlier this year to help fund the Christmas lights.

“We are already planning next year’s event,” said Mr Lemmon. “In fact our first committee meeting is in January to look back at 2013 and to look forward and plan for 2014”.

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