HUGE crowds gathered in Broad Street, Lyme Regis, on Saturday night for the annual switch-on of the Christmas lights.
The town centre has been left sparkling under white and gold lights following Saturday’s events, which included the traditional Christmas lantern parade and a visit from Father Christmas.
A Christmas lantern-making workshop at Lyme Regis Baptist Church was well-attended in the afternoon, followed by a lantern competition for ages 0-15 with some also bringing pre-made entries from home.
The competition was judged by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and helpers, with three-year-old Alfie Blackmore coming out on top for his snowman-theme lantern.
Alfie won first place is his age category, as well as trophies for best entry aged 0-7 and best overall.
Following the judging, the lantern parade was led down Broad Street by Lyme Regis Majorettes performing in Christmas jumpers. Councillor Ellis was joined by her consort Alan Ellis and town crier Alan Vian in leading the competition entrants, with strings of lights illuminating above them as they passed underneath.
The parade also included Father Christmas, who handed out sweets to the huge crowds, as well as Uplyme Morris Men and the fire brigade.
Crowds then gathered around the Christmas tree at the bottom of Broad Street and joined the mayor in a countdown for it to be lit up. Councillor Ellis was joined in lighting the tree by Uplyme resident Albie Weldin, who won a competition at Lyme Regis Library having read the most books over the summer break.
Large crowds are expected to gather at the tree once again on Saturday, December 22 for the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis’ annual Carols Around The Tree.
Traditional carols will be accompanied by Lyme Regis Town Band from 7pm and hot soup will be served by the Royal Lion Hotel in the interval. Money raised from this year’s event will be donated to Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.
The carol service is thought to be the longest-running festive event in Lyme Regis, having first been held 60 years ago and is a favourite with many local families and visitors.