PICTURES: Thousands turn out for Chichester Christmas lights switch-on

Chichester was transformed into a winter wonderland as some 12,000 people filled the city to watch as the Christmas lights were switched on.

Chichester's stunning 
firework display lights up the cathedral PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT ks1500596-9
Chichester's stunning firework display lights up the cathedral PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT ks1500596-9

The festive season officially kicked off yesterday (November 26) with entertainment including buskers and choir performances before the Christmas tree at the Cross was blessed by the Dean of Chichester.

The event was organised by the Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) and culminated in the switch-on of the lights followed by a stunning fireworks display.

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BID manager Charlotte Wickins said around 12,000 people are thought to have made their way to the city centre for the event: “The lights witch-on event was fantastic, we had a really good turn out and everyone was happy.”

The city centre packed with people ks1500596-7

Charlotte said the crowds enjoyed entertainment including the Snow King and Queen on stilts and carol singing.

“We also have to thank the 70 Rotarians on duty, who gave up their time to volunteer and help with crowd control.

“The Rotary Club donated the tree.

“The police and ambulance service were also very helpful.

Chloe Scholes and her daughter Florecne, two, enjoying the lights ks1500596-11

“We had a better turn out this year, helped by social media such as Twitter.

“There were also a lot of people handing out leaflets over the last few weeks.

“There is still late night shopping until Christmas, as well as Saturday Christmas markets.”

BID events and projects manager Kim Long was in charge of organising the event, which was months in the planning.

Chichester City Band playing carols ks1500596-8

“But we couldn’t do any of it without the support of our volunteers and BID members,” added Charlotte.

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The Dean of Chichester, the Ven Stephen Waine blessing the Christmas Tree ks1500596-6

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Adrian Wright entertaining the crowds ks1500596-5
Lois Lloyd, four, enjoying the sights ks1500596-4
Ella Silvester-Cooke, five enjoying the evening ks1500596-3
Street entertainers ks1500596-2
Entertaining the crowds ks1500596-13
Clare Adams and her daugher Emily, six, buying chestnuts from Barbara Castle ks1500596-12
The choir singing carols ks1500596-10
The Town Crier Richard Ploughman ks1500596-1