Thousands flock to city centre as Ely welcomes in the start of Christmas 2017 with lights switch-on
- Credit: Archant
Ely did the light fantastic last night – and thousands turned out to watch and enjoy the excitement.
The annual turning on of the Christmas lights was accompanied by a plethora of entertainment that included an Abba tribute act and stars of the local pantomime.
The mayor, Councillor Richard Hobbs, enjoyed his mainly ceremonial part in the proceedings and thanked the many who turned out.
“A very big thank you to all those volunteers and the people of Ely for turning out on a very cold night to make the Christmas lights switch on such a special event,” he said.
One of those who helped to stage the popular event remarked that it was, as always, “an amazing day and one in which I am proud to have played a small part”.
Volunteers worked from early in the day to prepare for the big event that also meant some road closures were necessary to allow for the numbers attending.
The market area was festooned in a blaze of colour with stalls, rides, plenty of festive food outlets and a host of musical entertainment for both young and old.
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Performers from this year’s Maltings panto, Beauty and the Beast, paraded through the city as part of an annual procession to the market.
Ely Christmas Lights Switch On event manager, Ian Newstead, said: “Over the last 14 years, the event run by City of Ely Council and organised by a small group local volunteers has grown into a well-established fixture of the city’s calendar.”
He was particularly keen to thank many sponsors that included the Royal Standard, Greys of Ely, Waitrose Ely, The Lamb Hotel, David Clarke Homes, DT Transport, Ward Gethin Archer, EMG, Gill Insulation, DBL Castles, Lakenheath Fireworks, Price Bailey, Ely Hereward Rotary Club, Ely Rotary Club, Impress Express, Speedy Hire, JezO Events and Zack FM.
As one visitor put it: “We had a fab time, thank you and merry Christmas”.