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‘The town was absolutely packed’ – Bury St Edmunds sparkles with Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 20:18 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 21:48 15 November 2018

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Stunning decorations and a snow machine delighted the community as the Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds sparkled for the first time this year.

This year specialist breast cancer surgeon Dr Liz O’Riordan did the honours of switching them on, marking the start of the festive period in the town.

She described the atmosphere as “amazing,” adding that it was “great to see the community out and about”.

Christmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The town was absolutely packed,” Dr O’Riordan said. “The lights look stunning – I think they are better than ever.”

Organised by the business improvement group Ourburystedmunds, the Christmas extravaganza featured a programme of street and stage entertainment, including a snow machine and a host of festive fundraising stalls for charities.

Christmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr O’Riordan, who has also had treatment for breast cancer herself, has recently published a book about the illness which she hopes will inspire others who are undergoing treatment.

She was famously pictured dressed as Mrs Incredible for her final radiotherapy treatment, and once again donned the superhero costume for the switch-on.

Children got to see Santa in the snow  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren got to see Santa in the snow Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dozens of good causes booked market stalls for the evening and there were also fairground rides, food stalls, a baby reindeer and panto characters.

The event is one of the annual free town centre attractions run by Ourburystedmunds.

Santa arrives in town  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSanta arrives in town Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chief executive Mark Cordell said: “The BID is proud to make sure the town has a stunning selection of Christmas lights and switch-on night is always great fun for families and shoppers as we prepare for the festive countdown.

“It’s all part of the build-up to our other Christmas attractions of dodgems and the return of Santa’s log-cabin Grotto to Charter Square.

Ariel Kennedy with her dog Macie  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAriel Kennedy with her dog Macie Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Dr O’Riordan has inspired many this year with her work and her own experience with breast cancer, so we were honoured when she accepted the invitation to switch on the lights.

“We will be making a charitable donation to the West Suffolk Hospital’s Breast Unit at Liz’s request to thank her.”

Nancy Hunt enjoying the lights  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNancy Hunt enjoying the lights Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Many of the town’s shops also stayed open for Christmas shopping.

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr Liz O'Riordan turned the lights on  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDr Liz O'Riordan turned the lights on Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Angel Hill illuminated with the Christmas lights  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAngel Hill illuminated with the Christmas lights Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Molly and George at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switch on  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMolly and George at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switch on Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Daisy with her favourite characters  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDaisy with her favourite characters Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristmas has arrived in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Anson and Marcus having fun  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAnson and Marcus having fun Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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