Huge turnout as town gets into festive spirit

Higham Ferrers Christmas Sparkle event and light switch on
Higham Ferrers Christmas Sparkle event and light switch on

Hundreds of people have gathered as Higham Ferrers was transformed into a fairground to mark the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights.

The Market Square and part of College Street was closed all day on Saturday, November 17, as people queued for dodgems, a helter skelter and delicacies offered up by continental market stalls.

To loud cheers, the town’s mayor Sheila Mantle switched on the lights at 5pm, assisted by the young winner of the children’s fancy dress parade.

Mrs Mantle said it had been a “fantastic” event which had become “better than ever”.

“It’s been so busy,” she said. “There’s something for everyone. The continental market has helped.”

Stuart Staines, who sold roast chestnuts to the crowd, said he had been overwhelmed by the number of people.

“I brought nine kilograms of chestnuts, but I sold out by 2pm,” he said. “I had to go and get an extra delivery. I sold 14kg – that’s a lot of chestnuts.”

He added: “For a town of this size I think we should be really proud that so many people have come out to support it.”

His wife Lisa sold cupcakes from her gazebo. She said: “It’s been brilliant and busy all day. There’s been a great atmosphere – really Christmasy.”

Sandra Mitcham, clerk of the town council, said she was pleased with how the day had gone.

She added: “Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. This is the biggest crowd ever, it must be touching one thousand.”

Mrs Mitcham also paid tribute to her fellow organisers for helping put on this year’s event.

To see more pictures from the festive event click here