PICTURE GALLERY 1: Thousands turn out as Saffron Walden Christmas lights switch-on is hailed an "astounding success"

PUBLISHED: 06:02 26 November 2013

Saffron Walden Christmas Fayre. Pictures: Katalin Karolyi

Saffron Walden Christmas Fayre. Pictures: Katalin Karolyi

© Katalin Karolyi. All rights reserved.

The festive was kicked off in real style as thousands of people turned out for the Saffron Walden Christmas Fayre on Sunday.

Saffron Walden Christmas Fayre. Pictures: Katalin KarolyiSaffron Walden Christmas Fayre. Pictures: Katalin Karolyi

There was a distinct Christmassy feel in the air to enjoy the entertainment, market stalls and, of course, the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights which drew thunderous applause and cheering.

Town mayor Keith Eden hailed the event an astounding success.

“The number of people in the square and their enthusiasm was astounding,” said Cllr Eden who, along with Father Christmas, led the countdown to the lights’ switch-on.

“It was exhilarating to be part of it. I don’t mean just for the lights being turned on, but all of the entertainment throughout the day that made it such an excellent time for everyone.”

Starting the day off was the Walden Buskers in the Market Square at 11am, and so started the non-stop entertainment.

Among the activities going on was a performance in Market Place by Saffron Players, and the dedication of a bench to Flossy Gedney on the Common that was conducted by Cllr Eden.

Pure Rhythm, a Jazz Quartet, and then the Wimbish Military Wives Choir performed, before teh latter was joined by pupils from Clavering Primary, St Mary’s, Katherine Semar Juniors and RA Butler, as well as the Choir of St Mary’s Church, to sing carols.

Theatre group Hyperfusion, whose 40-odd artists ranged in age from five-18, was the last of the entertainment. They started their set by singing Silent Night before talking about what Christmas means to children from other countries, particularly those that are suffering from war and conflict.

An excellent dance movement piece to Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi followed.

Sarah Ellis, artistic director at Hyperfusion, said: “It was an amazing day. We had such a great time we would love to come back next year.”

As the time got closer to the switch-on, the Market Square became so full of people it was difficult to see some of the action for some, but that did not detract from the atmosphere.

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