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The best of Fakenham celebrated in virtual Christmas lights switch on event

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A Norfolk town held an online Christmas lights switch on yesterday due to the coronavirus cancelling the usual event.

The Fakenham virtual switch on was hosted by Active Fakenham with community groups, individuals and businesses in the town contributing to the video which was broadcast on social media.

Richard Crook of Active Fakenham said: "We have had great support from across the community for this event. One example of someone who has stepped up is Andy Cooper, who is producing some of the videos and music for the virtual Christmas lights switch on event."

The video includes a fitness session by Platten Fitness, music, a theatre performance and festive messages from local charities and businesses.

Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS), who are set to take to the stage at Fakenham Community Centre between December 8-12, were also included in the video with their performance of Chicago.

And there were also messages from Father Christmas - who wonders how he will get a request for a JCB down a local child's chimney - and Fakenham's mayor Gilly Foortse.

Fakenham's FADLOS in rehearsals for their COVID-secure performance of Chicago
Fakenham's FADLOS in rehearsals for their COVID-secure performance of Chicago

In the video, she says: "I talk to you now at a great time of concern and difficulty as we enter a new phase of this pandemic.

"But first I would like to look at what happened when we first fell into this sorry situation. Fakenham rose to the challenge magnificently, voluntary groups delivered meals to those isolating in particular from the Gallows."

She also praised First Focus for working with North Norfolk District Council to deliver shopping to those in need and neighbours for helping one another, as well as independent shops for staying open and supporting the community during lockdown.

The virtual event was rounded off with performance from Fakenham Rock Choir.

Mr Cooper, who contributed to the music and videos, said: "It's been great working with Active Fakenham on this festive event. As a local video and music producer, I was thrilled to be asked to assist."

Active Fakenham also thanked WJ Aldiss for their generous support.

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