Ripley Christmas lights switch-on a festive night of family traditions

Record crowds packed out Market Place to be part of the event.

The joys of Christmas returned to Ripley in traditional style at the weekend.

Mayor Sheila Emmas-Williams switched the town’s lights on at a ceremony on Friday, December 1.

Joshua and Tyler Barratt brought their own Christmas lights.

With the town’s main festive events taking place at the market on December 3, the lights ceremony evoked more traditional charm, with members of the community gathering to sing carols led by the Reverend John Wigram of All Saints Church, the Newstead brass band and a cast of costumed characters.

Councillor Emmas-Williams said: “I’m told it was the best turnout we’ve ever seen for the event, and we pretty much filled Market Place. It was a wonderful way to start Christmas.

“Everybody seemed to enjoy the singing and there was a lot of excitement about the lights. We’ve had very positive feedback on Facebook.”

She added: “We were fortunate with the weather, but it was good to see so many there, especially lots of children. We very much hoped it would be a family occasion.”

Even four-legged friends were feeling festive.

In a long-established Ripley custom, Father Christmas distributed presents to all the young residents in attendance on behalf of the town council, who also provided free children’s rides.

Another familiar presence came in the shape of the much-loved waving Santa Claus and snownman illuminations, which will be beaming down on shoppers spreading festive cheer.

Coun Emmas-Williams added: “Thank you to everyone who came to our events over the weekend, for whatever part they played. It was a great success.”

In a nod to tradition, the community came together in singing Christmas carols.

Newstead Brass Band led the songs.

Mayor Sheila Emmas-Williams turns on the lights.

It was a night for families to enjoy with free rides and gifts.

The old favourite Father Christmas is in pride of place on the town hall.

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