Yuletide Festival & Christmas Lights Switch-on
Photos supplied by Tony Cole Photography, Alton Town Council and Stephen Lewis.
There was certainly something for everyone at this year’s combined Yuletide & Christmas Lights Switch-on event. With much anticipation and a little apprehension for the introduction this year of staging a combined event, the day started positively at 10 a.m. with hundreds of visitors attending the event and what an array of stalls they were met with. A mix of charity stalls and quality commercial traders allowed even the most avid shopper to find something different to muse over; that entwined with a dry, warmer than forecast day, saw the crowds continue throughout the day to fill the High Street and Market Square. The traditional funfair greeted those visitors entering the High Street from the south whilst from the north they were enchanted by entertainers from Wootey Junior and Medstead Schools, Alton College Jazz Band, Surrey UKeaholics, Holybourne Theatre, Alton Rock Choir, Luminosa Young Voices. Not to be outdone, Turk Street welcomed the Alton Morris Dancers, Kings Pond Shantymen, Salvation Army, Alton Concert Band and local accordion player, Marion Smith.
Newly tried this year was the family entertainment area in the Market Square. The now traditional donkeys and sheep in their penned area were a familiar draw for the children as was the Snow Globe in the marquee which also hosted Cake Creations who gave demonstrations on how to ice your Christmas Cake and Grassi & Jones Cookery School gave children the opportunity of decorating their very own Gingerbread festive shapes.
The lights were switched on at the Assembly Rooms by firm favourite Father Christmas ably assisted by the Town Mayor, Councillor Dean Paul Phillips and Town Crier, Stan Whitcher.
The Mayor led the assembled audience in the Twelve Days of Christmas to herald in the new lights adorning Crown Close with illuminated reindeer overseeing the festivities.
Town Clerk, Leah Coney said “On behalf of Alton Town Council, a big thank you to everyone who came along to our Yuletide Festival. We hope you all enjoyed your day and we will see you all again next year. We already have some great ideas for additions for 2018 to make it even bigger and better.”
All EHDC town centre car parks were free on the day courtesy of East Hampshire District Council.