Great Dunmow hosts biggest ever Christmas lights switch-on event

Elaine Van den Ende age 7 gives a wave with Santa. Photos:Celia Bartlett Photography

Elaine Van den Ende age 7 gives a wave with Santa. Photos:Celia Bartlett Photography - Credit: Celia Bartlett

Crowds gathered for a festive day last week (December 3), when Great Dunmow’s lights were switched on.

More than 1,000 people came to watch Father Christmas turn them on, as well as visit him in his grotto, skate around an ice rink, and see entertainment, eat food, and have ride on the tea cups.

Jasmine Cressey, a 12-year-old from Dunmow who is now figure skating British Champion, opened the ice rink and gave a performance.

Great Dunmow Primary School, Granary Dance Studio, Great Dunmow Theatre Dance Group, Rock choir, and a band called No Limits performed for onlookers throughout the day.

Alex Armstrong, chairman of the Town Team who organised the event, said: “It was brilliant, it was a great event, it was terrific, and we were overwhelmed by its popularity, which was incredible.

“Everyone who came down to help did help and the Dunmow Round Table were fantastic.

“There was such a coming together of Dunmow and the High Street.”

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One of the couple winners from this year’s Flitch Trails, Mohammed Mizan Sabur and Emma Marcus, were dressed up as his elves helping Santa – and more than 100 children came to see St Nick and get a present from him.

The Rose Garden, a florist in the High Street, helped the Round Table to host the grotto, which made more than £1,000 for their charities.

Jon Worby, chairman of the round table, said: “It all went really well, it was a lovely event.

“Even the big kids were convinced by Santa – adults see a man in a red suit, but children see magic, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s lovely to see and quite humbling.

“It was a good time for us to see people who we have put money into over the year, as they came down to say thank you.”

Big thanks from the group to both the Rose Garden and to Capture House, who took and printed photos of children with Santa for free.