Plenty of festive cheer as town sees in Christmas

The Christmas lights switch-on in Burton Latimer a few years ago
The Christmas lights switch-on in Burton Latimer a few years ago

Burton Latimer is preparing to get into the Christmas spirit with a festive evening of family fun next week.

The Christmas lights will be switched on at 7pm on Friday, December 7, with one lucky child picked at random to flick the switch and illuminate their town.

The lights turn-on is being held a week later than in previous years, to make sure it is as close to the big day as possible.

Anyone wanting to get the opportunity to switch the lights on can pick up their free raffle ticket from the Cockpitsonic shop in the High Street.

The focus of the evening’s entertainment will be the Millennium garden, where farmers’ markets are usually held.

The evening’s entertainment kicks off at 6.30pm, and will include a host of activities in the Millennium garden such as the John Scarrott fairground rides, food stalls and an arts and craft exhibition and sale, in which local artists will be showing off some of their works.

The top end of Churchill Way, which adjoins the garden and the High Street, will be closed to all traffic for the duration of the evening.

Jan Smith, a town councillor who has played a key role in organising the evening, said this year’s event would be aimed a little more at charity than before, something which would also make it more affordable for families.

She said: “All the shops will be open later on the night.

“But you don’t have to spend an awful lot of money, just enjoy the night.

“It will be an inexpensive family evening to get out and see what Burton Latimer has got to offer.

“It’s nice to show it off.”

She added: “The children love it, having their families watching them. There’s real pride in our children and our town.”

The crowds, who are expected to number more than 1,000, in keeping with the turn-out in previous years, will also be entertained by musical groups including local school choirs and the Salvation Army band, who will be performing seasonal songs.

St Mary’s School is putting on a shopping event and hosting a range of activities for children, who will also be able to visit Father Christmas in his grotto.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be served on the evening.