12 pictures of Littlehampton's festive lights switch-on

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​​Christmas arrived in Littlehampton on Saturday as the town centre played host to the annual Christmas lights switch on.

The event, organised by Littlehampton Town Council, saw hundreds of families come together to enjoy an afternoon of festive fun.

Live entertainment included a show from children’s entertainer Nolan Davis and performances from Father Daughter DJ duo Pitch and Strut, The Broken Box Band, Soph and Simon and Sussex Steel. There was also a live Nativity from Churches’ Together.

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Children received a visit from Frozen characters Elsa, Anna and Olaf.

Hundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shoppingHundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shopping
Hundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shopping

Mayor of Littlehampton Freddie Tandy, alongside the winner of the Mayor’s Christmas Card Competition, Flynn McConville, took to the stage to switch on the lights as visitors watched the High Street fill with colour.

Stealing the show was the giant lit-up bauble which people can walk through for a Christmassy picture.

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In addition to the high street shops that stayed open, there was a selection of artisan stalls with a display of handmade gifts. Food-wise there were German sausages from Mobile Event Catering, pizza from Arcade Lounge, exotic dishes for Sello Afri-Carribean Dish and flavoursome loaded fries from Summit Tasty.

Hundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shoppingHundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shopping
Hundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shopping

Children also enjoyed funfair rides in Clifton Road and Duke Street courtesy of Coles Funfair, Littlehampton District Lions Club turned St Martins Lane into Santa’s Grotto as many children received an early present.

Chair of the community resources committee, Councillor Sean Lee, said: “Christmas is well and truly upon us now! It was amazing seeing the community come together to celebrate the start of the festive period. I would like to thank everyone for their support and joining us for this special event. I would also like to thank local businesses who were involved, it is vital that we all shop locally this festive season.”

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Cllr Billy Blanchard-Cooper at the lights switch-on eventCllr Billy Blanchard-Cooper at the lights switch-on event
Cllr Billy Blanchard-Cooper at the lights switch-on event

The mayor added: “It is lovely to see so much positivity around the new lighting scheme. This year, we have the addition of the walkthrough bauble and a brand-new sustainable Christmas tree which is something Littlehampton has never seen before. It’s always good to have something different and so far, the Christmas decorations have had a lot of love! Make sure to tag Visit Littlehampton in any photos you take with the bauble!”

Councillor Billy Blanchard-Cooper said: “There has been much anticipation about the new Christmas lights for Littlehampton this year particularly from myself. The Christmas Lights working group started working on a new scheme at the start of the year and really wanted to ensure Littlehampton had the wow factor! We have done well in the past, but we really wanted to have something to draw people into the town, and which would create some great promotion which I feel we really achieved with the new scheme, particularly the walk through bauble, which I know everyone if lining up to get the perfect Christmas photo with.

“We wanted to stand out from what everywhere else is doing and add some fun to the offering, which is why we didn't go for a plain white or gold colour scheme, instead we wanted to add lots of colour, which seems to have gone down really well with residents, particularly as the Bauble and Tree are not static lights, but instead change and capture peoples attentions.

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“Known for being a huge fan of Christmas and dubbed Mr Christmas by the Littlehampton Gazette in 2017 when I was mayor, I felt like a big kid on Christmas day when the lights were finally on. The anticipation was brilliant, but I am so pleased so many people came out to enjoy the event, and that we had so many great positive comments from traders, vendors and the public.

Hundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shoppingHundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shopping
Hundreds of residents were there to witness Littlehampton's Christmas lights being switched on and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and late-night shopping

“It was amazing to see so many people had turned out, despite the weather, and how so many stayed after the switch on when in past years the town cleared very quickly, I guess they all wanted that perfect photo, as did I.

“I would encourage anyone who hasn't seen them yet to come visit Littlehampton, support our traders and if putting a picture on social media to tag Littlehampton to help promote our town.”

A bauble trail is now underway for children aged up to 16 years. To be in with a chance of winning an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet, Littlehampton children must find 14 hidden baubles and name the shop where they were spotted. Full details can be found on the Christmas What’s on Guide or on the town council’s website.

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In the Love Local Prize Draw scheme, shoppers in Littlehampton have the chance to win £500 in the run-up to Christmas. A monthly prize draw will take place in November and December. To enter, shoppers can collect a sticker each time they spend over £5 in participating shops. Once they have completed their loyalty card, they must hand it in to Manor House to be entered into the prize draw.

Shoppers may enter as many times as they like. Full details of the scheme can be found on the website.