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Crowds turn out for Bay light switch on

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SNOW, a Michael Buble tribute and songs from Frozen were just some of the highlights of the big light switch-on in Herne Bay on Friday.

Around 1000 people attended the street party which had music and Reg E Mental children’s comic entertaining from a specially constructed stage. Families enjoyed a sing-a-long with Disney’s Frozen princesses Anna and Elsa and Olaf the Snowman. During the party, 200 Frozen advent calendars were handed out to excited children who were given free vouchers from Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Many of the children had their photos taken with the princesses in front of a commissioned snow-scene backdrop.

The lights were switched on by five year old Connor Olsen, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare version of Muscular Dystrophy.

He was accompanied by a giant Minion who was helped onto the stage by Miss Herne Bay and one of her princesses. Connor was also supported by Herne Bay Youth FC’s Under-16s football team who have this year chosen to support his charity and who manned many of the costumes on the day. Theatrecraft entertained and the ugly sisters advertised their upcoming pantomime, Cinderella, being performed at the Kings Hall.

Youngsters also met Bob the Builder, Peppa Pig, Bob Spongepants, Dora the Explorer, Postman Pat, Iggle Puggle ,giant Minions and other characters provided by David and Rose Sleet and their family and friends and also the BayPromo Team.

Mother Christmas made balloon animals, Faye Beerling, local author of Tales from the Clock Tower signed her books, Herne Bay Carnival Court attended and Father Christmas handed out free sweets.

Traders took advantage of the occasion and stayed open late with many offering samples including mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies.

Herne Bay Town Partner Gideon Scott, one of the event organisers said: “Again, Herne Bay showed its very strong community spirit and what we can do when the local voluntary groups get together to organise an event for the townspeople. There was a lovely carnival atmosphere and many braved the cold to join us in kicking off the Christmas season here in Herne Bay.

“We must recognise the generosity of our friends in the local business community who volunteered their time and donated goods and service free of charge to allow our town to have lights and celebrate with such a lavish party. A huge thanks goes to Owen Electrical Contracts Limited who tested and repaired and erected the lights and also supplied the lights for the Christmas tree, all free of charge.

“Owen were assisted by PG Platforms who provided specialist hoist vehicles for the task. Richard Owen and his staff oversaw the actual switch on and all the lights came on bang on cue when Connor pressed the huge plunger switch. The tree was kindly put into place by James Woodward of The Woodwarden Limited and the decorative fencing was supplied by Quinney’s Fencing. Thanks also to Chris West, Business Development Manager at Canterbury City Council who compered the show and also the Council’s John Hawkins and his events team who supplied all the necessary permits and licences. Upstaged Limited supplied the stage, PA and lighting.”

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