Father Christmas made his first official appearance in Farnham on Saturday (18 November) at the Christmas lights switch-on at Gostrey Meadow. Children visiting Santa in his grotto even received a small gift from him.

Councillor Jill Hargreaves, Lead Member for Tourism and Events says: “The Christmas lights switch-on was a highlight for many of us but it was particularly wonderful to see families and groups of friends enjoying the entertainment, refreshments and stalls. There was a funfair, a nativity with live animals, performances from schools, theatre groups and musicians plus face painting and a pop-up Christmas craft stall run by Farnham Maltings. The switch-on brought hundreds of people into the town and was sponsored by Principal sponsor Specsavers Farnham and gold sponsors Personnel Selection and Aura Care Living.”

Shoppers and residents enjoyed the mulled cider, hot food and sweet treats on sale. The lights were switched on at 4.30pm by cast members from the pantomimes Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk. Aladdin is being performed at the Princes Hall, Aldershot and Jack and the Beanstalk is on at The Harlington, Fleet.

Music and dance kept the crowds entertained throughout the afternoon until early evening and included performances by Love2Groove, Farnham Music and Drama, Demeric School of Dance, Stagecoach, Showshack Dance and Theatre, Potters Gate Taiko, Starburst and The Dance Movement.

Children from Rowledge Primary School, All Hallows, St Peter’s, St Polycarp’s, Potters Gate and Highfield South Farnham also pleased the crowd with festive songs and music.

This year’s Christmas lighting scheme has been extended and now includes Heath End, Badshot Lea and Rowledge.

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