The Mayor of Farnham Cllr David Attfield switched on Farnham’s Christmas lights on Saturday with help from a surprise guest.

Arriving on a horse-drawn carriage, Father Christmas was greeted with cheers and applause as he made his way onto the stage.

With a drum roll from the Taiko Drummers and an enthusiastic countdown from ten by the audience, the Mayor of Farnham and Father Christmas switched on the lights and declared the start of Christmas in Farnham.

Councillor Jill Hargreaves, Lead Member for Tourism and Events says: “Saturday’s Christmas lights switch-on was such fun and was enjoyed by so many families from Farnham and further afield. The children’s faces as they visited Father Christmas in his grotto or petted one of the animals in the live nativity scene were adorable.”

Throughout the afternoon, a crowd of thousands enjoyed no fewer than 15 performances by young people from local schools, theatre, dance and music groups as well as Quicksilver, which is a dance company for older people.

Cast members from the Prince’s Hall pantomime Beauty and the Beast made a guest appearance and the Town Crier Jonathan Jones gave a powerful rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The entertainment was compered by John Collins and background music was provided between performances by Betsa.

Councillor Hargreaves adds: “Although Farnham Town Council organises the Christmas lights switch-on, it is fair to say that we could not do it without the support of our sponsors who included Personnel Selection as our gold sponsor and BBS for Magimix as a bronze sponsor.”

The Patio Black Spot Removal Company is the Principal sponsor of Christmas in Farnham and Sales and Marketing Director Simon Essex says: “Having been a sponsor of Farnham in Bloom, I’ve seen how much enthusiasm and support there is for events organised by Farnham Town Council. There is a real sense of community in Farnham and as a local family business, this is something that is important to us. We are delighted to be supporting Christmas in Farnham and hope that many more people will be able to enjoy one or two of the events in the weeks leading up to Christmas.”

The next event in the Christmas in Farnham calendar is the Christmas Market on Sunday 9 December from 10am to 4pm. Also look out for the ballot for tickets for the Civic Christmas Carol Service with the Farnham Youth Choir in this edition of the Herald and again on 29 November.

For a full list of what’s happening, visit www.farnham.gov.uk/christmas.

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