Farnham’s countdown to Christmas has officially started following the switch-on of the Christmas lights on Saturday.

The switch-on was organised by Farnham Town Council and saw thousands of people visiting Gostrey Meadow for an afternoon of live entertainment, brilliantly compered by John Collins. Children from seven local schools performed before proud parents and members from several Farnham-based dance and theatre schools impressed the crowd with their professional, highly polished routines. In between performances by the children, local band Voice and Keys sang popular Christmas songs.

Shortly before the lights were switched on at 4.30pm, cast members from the Prince’s Hall’s production of Cinderella appeared on stage. They performed a lively pantomime-style sketch, which concluded with them throwing sweets into the audience. Cinderella was followed by a show from the stars of Fleet’s production of Aladdin. Members of The Harlington theatre’s youth cast danced and sang in the lead up to the switch-on.

Following a countdown from ten, the Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Mrs Pat Frost and cast members from Aladdin pressed a plunger causing a burst of stage fireworks, a shower of confetti and the switching on of Farnham’s lights.

Councillor Jill Hargreaves, Lead Member for Tourism and Events says: “It was wonderful to see so many local young people involved in this year’s Christmas lights switch-on. The performances were of a very high standard and really helped to get the crowd into the Christmas spirit. The very cold weather also contributed towards the Christmas atmosphere and resulted in the mulled wine and hot chocolate stalls proving to be very popular!

“I would like to thank Specsavers Farnham for being the principal sponsor of the Christmas lights switch-on. Without the support of local business such as Specsavers, EJR Accounting, Trueman and Grundy and Stagecoach Theatre Arts School, the Christmas lights switch-on would not be quite so special.”

As well as the live entertainment on stage, a variety of stalls and fairground attractions provided additional interest. Hundreds of children visited Father Christmas in his grotto and the donkeys and pigs in the petting farm were also popular.

Farnham’s Christmas lights can be seen along West Street, The Borough, South Street and the approach to the station. For the first time, a lighting scheme has been installed in Wrecclesham and new ‘blizzard’ lights in the trees in Castle Street. As in previous years, Christmas lights can also be seen at Hale, Badshot Lea and Rowledge. Farnham Town Council is grateful to local businesses for their support.

The Christmas lights switch-on was sponsored by:

  • Specsavers
  • EJR Accounting
  • Trueman and Grundy
  • Personnel Selection, and
  • Stagecoach Theatre Arts School

Farnham’s Christmas lighting scheme has been supported by:

  • The Mulberry
  • Wise & Co
  • The Bear & Ragged Staff
  • The Bengal Lounge
  • The Cooperative Food
  • The Farnham Vineyard Church
  • The Methodist Church
Pantomime characters and the Mayor switch on Christmas lights

Christmas lights switch-on.

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