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Dozens show support for Fakenham’s Christmas Lights Switch-on despite freezing temperatures





The cold weather did not deter dozens who packed out a town's market place to watch as its festive lights were switched on at the weekend.

Donkeys, live entertainment and more than 20 food and craft stalls were part of Fakenham’s Christmas lights event on Saturday, organised by the town’s events committee.

Although the temperatures reached freezing lows of minus two degrees, people remained in good spirits and ready for the festivities.

Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh

Starting at 10am, the event was kickstarted by a crafts fayre, followed by entertainment, which began at 1pm.

The lights were then switched on just before 6pm by six-year-old Riley Colk.

Riley had won a competition in which 20 elves were hidden in the shop windows of town businesses, and children had to find them all to be put into the prize draw.

Poppy and Harry Rust with Donkeys' owner Karen Rust and Lulu Picture: Michael Fysh
Poppy and Harry Rust with Donkeys' owner Karen Rust and Lulu Picture: Michael Fysh

In addition to stalls and a live stage, Karen Rust from Great Massingham-based Miniature Donkeys for Therapy and Fun attended with her four-legged friends Maizy, Chocky and Lulu.

Karen said: “We’ve found that this has been brilliant, everyone has come round to see the donkeys and the children are loving it because they don't get the chance to get up close to an animal like this very often.

“They’ve been getting cuddles and having their photos taken, it’s been lovely.”

Firefighters from Fakenham fire station were also in attendance, telling people about the work they do, how to stay safe this winter, and showing children the fire engines.

The lights were switched on at 6pm Picture: Michael Fysh
The lights were switched on at 6pm Picture: Michael Fysh

Suzie Sharp, a member of the Fakenham Events Committee, said: “We are a small group of four people, and this is the fifth lights switch-on that we've organised.

“Everyone is having fun, but I think this is the coldest one we’ve run yet – we’ve been here since 7.30am to help with the set-up, it’s a lot of work and it takes us all year to get it together.

“We’re also hoping to bring back the town carnival in the summer, fingers crossed.”

Charity buckets were also making their rounds, with elves raising money for the events committee, and the Rotary Club of Fakenham gathering cash for the community first responders.

FADLOS, the Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society, ended the evening with some performances of songs from their pantomime Beauty and The Beast as well as some Christmas classics too, before inviting Riley on stage to do the honours.

The lights were switched on at 6pm Picture: Michael Fysh
The lights were switched on at 6pm Picture: Michael Fysh
Despite the cold weather, many still spent their Saturday at the event Picture: Michael Fysh
Despite the cold weather, many still spent their Saturday at the event Picture: Michael Fysh
6-year-old Riley Colk switching on the lights with members of FADLOS Picture: Michael Fysh
6-year-old Riley Colk switching on the lights with members of FADLOS Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS attended and performed songs from their pantomime Beauty and The Beast Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS attended and performed songs from their pantomime Beauty and The Beast Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
There was a stage in the marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
There was a stage in the marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS members Sarah Chessie and Martin Hood Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS members Sarah Chessie and Martin Hood Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS members Caitlin Tuck and Tilly Baron Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS members Caitlin Tuck and Tilly Baron Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS attended and performed songs from their pantomime Beauty and The Beast Picture: Michael Fysh
FADLOS attended and performed songs from their pantomime Beauty and The Beast Picture: Michael Fysh
Elves could be spotted skipping around town with collection buckets for the town's events committee Picture: Michael Fysh
Elves could be spotted skipping around town with collection buckets for the town's events committee Picture: Michael Fysh
Food and craft stalls lined the road which was closed for the day Picture: Michael Fysh
Food and craft stalls lined the road which was closed for the day Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Donkeys for Therapy and Fun were in town dressed up in festive gear Picture: Michael Fysh
Donkeys for Therapy and Fun were in town dressed up in festive gear Picture: Michael Fysh
Fakenham Town Band took to the stage during the day Picture: Michael Fysh
Fakenham Town Band took to the stage during the day Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Many gathered in the town's marketplace Picture: Michael Fysh
Students from Fakenham Academy performed on stage Picture: Michael Fysh
Students from Fakenham Academy performed on stage Picture: Michael Fysh
The Rotary Club of Fakenham had a stall raising money for community first responders Picture: Michael Fysh
The Rotary Club of Fakenham had a stall raising money for community first responders Picture: Michael Fysh
Students from Fakenham Academy performed on stage Picture: Michael Fysh
Students from Fakenham Academy performed on stage Picture: Michael Fysh
Food and craft stalls lined the road which was closed for the day Picture: Michael Fysh
Food and craft stalls lined the road which was closed for the day Picture: Michael Fysh

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