Fakenham pub saves the day after town's switch on cancelled

The Crown stepped up on November 27 to replace the switch-on event, which sadly had to be cancelled due to a weather warning

The Crown, located in the MarketPlace stepped up on November 27 to replace the switch-on event, which sadly had to be cancelled due to a weather warning. - Credit: Alie Hannam

High winds and torrential rain could not dampen Fakenham's Christmas spirit, after one of the town's pubs stepped in to save the day.

The owners of The Crown, located in Fakenham, stepped up on November 27 to help replace the switch-on event, which had to be cancelled due to an amber weather warning the day prior.

Their event included Father Christmas making an appearance, live music from Never2L8, and even featured the rescue of Santa, the conclusion of the firefighters' fundraiser.

Father Christmas was rescued, the conclusion of the town's firefighters fundraising efforts. 

Father Christmas was rescued, the conclusion of the town's firefighters fundraising efforts. - Credit: Alie Hannam

The lights were still switched on in the town, just without the fanfare of the normal event. The cancellation marked was even more disappointing for the Fakenham Events Committee, who have seen the switch on cancelled for the second time in as many years.

Alie Hannam, owner of The Crown, was helped by others to pull off the last-minute event. The pub was already in the committee's original plans, as they were hosting the grotto.

Alie Hannam at The Crown in Fakenham. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Alie Hannam at The Crown in Fakenham. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

She got the call that weather was putting a stop to proceedings but wanted to do all she could, saying: “When they contacted us to let us know the light switch on wouldn’t be going ahead, we offered our courtyard at The Crown for all the stalls, but unfortunately the weather forecast predicted 55 miles an hour winds, and the stallholders naturally decided against coming.

“None of us wanted to let down the children, or the two charities, we decided to go ahead with the Grotto. I asked the face painter and local band Never2L8 if they still like to attend.”

Father Christmas was rescued, the conclusion of the town's firefighters fundraising efforts. 

Father Christmas was rescued, the conclusion of the town's firefighters fundraising efforts. - Credit: Alie Hannam

She was helped by Mark and Sonya Campbell, who are on the committee. The pair of them sourced elf outfits and assisted Santa in giving all the children a gift.

Most Read

All proceeds went to the firefighters' fundraising and First Focus.

Sonya Campbell and Nick Bird as Father Christmas at The Crown in Fakenham.

Sonya Campbell and Nick Bird as Father Christmas at The Crown in Fakenham. - Credit: Alie Hannam

“It was a situation where everyone came together to still give the children a fantastic Christmas experience,” Ms Hannam added.

“Without Mark and Sonya giving up their afternoon to help out Father Christmas, the day wouldn’t have gone so smoothly. They are definitely Mr & Mrs Christmas.”

The committee thanked everyone who had contributed to the event and looks forward to their jubilee event in June 2022.