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Towns set to sparkle at Christmas lights switch-on events

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 29 November 2017

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas helpers at the evening event.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas helpers at the evening event. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A frenzy of activity is taking place behind the scenes in towns and villages across mid and north Norfolk as preparations are put in place for their annual Christmas lights switch-ons.

Dereham is planning a much brighter Christmas lights event this year.  Picture: Michael LyonsDereham is planning a much brighter Christmas lights event this year. Picture: Michael Lyons

Fakenham and Wells hold their events on Saturday, Dereham’s is on Sunday and Reepham is next Thursday.

In Fakenham there will be stalls, Santa’s Grotto and entertainment in the market place on Saturday from 2pm with lights being switched on at 4.30pm.

Anyone able to spare some time to help with the event is asked to contact Lisa Mallett at Sweets n Things on 01328 855172.

There is a full day of activity and entertainment in Wells on Saturday ahead of the lights being switched on by Look East presenters David Whiteley and Amelia Reynolds at 4.15pm.

Scenes from Fakenham Christmas Light Switch on 2010.Scenes from Fakenham Christmas Light Switch on 2010.

Father Christmas will once again arrive by boat at the Quay at 5.30pm for the Christmas Tide Festival, with a fantastic fireworks display.

In Dereham the Carnival committee has taken over the event organisation and team members have been out and about at all hours erecting new lights and making preparations.

Dozens of people have already bought wishes to tie to the Christmas tree which is expected to be erected in the Market Place today.

Entertainment starts at 12pm on Sunday on the music stage as well as various busking spots and in the parish church.

Scenes from Reepham's Festival of Light.Scenes from Reepham's Festival of Light.

Dereham Baptist Church will once again run its nativity photo booth during the afternoon. The free activity offers people the chance to dress up in nativity costumes and have their pictures taken.

As well as visiting Santa in his Grotto and meeting his reindeer children can also post him their letters and gift lists. Every letter will get a reply as long as they include a return address.

Railway Tavern landlord Paul Sandford will switch on the lights at 5pm, having been chosen in a public vote in recognition of his charity work and support for the armed forces.

Reepham’s Festival of Light starts at 4.30pm on Thursday, December 7.

Residents from Paget Adams Drive in Dereham have decorated their street ready for Christmas. Picture: Matthew Usher.Residents from Paget Adams Drive in Dereham have decorated their street ready for Christmas. Picture: Matthew Usher.

There will be a children’s lantern parade, dozens of food and craft stalls, carols and music, and a craft fair in the church. Whatever the weather forecast organisers are promising snow, even if they have to make it themselves.

Paget Adams Drive is sure to ‘wow’ visitors again

While it is hoped thousands of people will turn out to watch the lights in Dereham town centre get switched on this Sunday, many will also visit a little cul-de-sac in the town.

More than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to raise money for the Salvation ArmyMore than 800 people gathered in Paget Adams Drive in Dereham to enjoy a community carol service to raise money for the Salvation Army

The residents of Paget Adams Drive, off Norwich Road, are famed for the effort they put into the festive lights on their houses and in their front gardens.

This year is expected to be no different and the majority of homes will switch on their lights tomorrow, Friday, December 1, making the whole close into a winter wonderland.

As an added celebration the street holds a community carol service to raise funds for the Salvation Army. This year it will take place on Wednesday, December 20 at 7pm.

Harry Peek, whose family live on the cul-de-sac, has also set up a fundraising website for those wishing to give an extra contribution. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pagetadamsdrive.

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