Countdown to Christmas light switch-on extravaganza begins

PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 October 2018

Crowds gather for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switched on. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Crowds gather for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switched on. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The countdown has begun in earnest for the Christmas lights switch on evening in Bury St Edmunds.

Dr Liz O'Riordan, who is set to switch on the Christmas lights, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: DERMOT O'RIORDANDr Liz O'Riordan, who is set to switch on the Christmas lights, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: DERMOT O'RIORDAN

The night features a host of attractions and events including a baby reindeer, panto characters and free street entertainment as the town centre is transformed on Thursday, November 15.

Organised by the business improvement group Our Bury St Edmunds, the Christmas extravaganza features a programme of street and stage entertainment, festive fundraising stalls for charities and free parking after 4pm.

And the town will illuminate at the flick of a switch at 7pm by special guest Dr Liz O’Riordan, a specialist breast cancer surgeon who has also had treatment for the disease herself.

She has recently published a book about the illness which she hopes will inspire others who are undergoing treatment.

Dr O’Riordan was famously pictured dressed as Mrs Incredible for her final radiotherapy treatment and has hinted she may wear the outfit again for the switch-on.

Entertainment will then continue until 8pm.

Dozens of good causes have booked market stalls for the evening and there will also be fairground rides and food stalls.

Many of the town’s shops will stay open for Christmas shopping.

The event is one of the annual free town centre attractions run by Our Bury St Edmunds.

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.

“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.”

The build up to the switch on will begin from around 3pm and there will be a programme of stage entertainment outside Moyses Hall from 3.15pm, fairground rides on Cornhill and Buttermarket and the event marks the start of free parking on a Thursday from 4pm.


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