Wiltshire Publications

‘Magical’ Westbury is lit up for Christmas

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 at 12:08 pm.

Martha Baldwin and Mayor Cllr Gordon King

Christmas in Westbury officially began on  Saturday, with the dazzling and entertaining switching on of the town’s Christmas lights.

Opening the event, the Mayor, cllr Gordon King, said that the celebrations were the culmination of meticulous planning and organisation, and the exciting programme of events were designed to encourage  everyone to stay and enjoy the day.

First on stage were the combined Rock Choirs of West Wiltshire and Frome, quickly getting everyone in the Christmas spirit.  Town council events coordinator, Verity Bartlett, who is also a member of the Rock Choir said, “It was lovely to see them, all the ‘Rockies’ did a great job and really set us up for a great day.”

The drizzle cleared by mid-morning enabling the street entertainment to come out and perform for the children. The magnificent Snow Lion (Creature Encounters) immediately appealed by capturing the imagination of children and the young at heart with “magical” being the most- used word.

Father Christmas, as expected, was extremely busy in his grotto, whilst the small animatronic Santa cycled down the street talking to the crowds, as children looked on in amazement.

The 8′ tall Naughty Christmas Tree was a great favourite with passing children who stopped to add a bauble or two. This naughty tree proved to be a rather good dancer, bopping along to The Cley Hill Stompers during their set on the stage as darkness fell.

Speed painter, Dave Sharp, rose to the challenge and painted two fantastic pictures, of former Bristol City footballer, and Warminster teacher John Atyeo, and pop legend David Bowie.

This year the lights switch-on moved from the High Street to the Market Place.

The town council’s events working group chairman, Jane Russ explained, “We took a carefully considered decision to move, following feedback received after the 2016 event. It seemed sensible to focus the event around the Christmas tree which is in the Market Place and it worked well. This in turn improved the flow of the event. The fairground was moved from the car park into the High Street, leaving the car park free for parking.

“On behalf of the organisers I would like to say thank you to the residents and businesses of Westbury that were affected by the road closures; their good will and cooperation is never taken for granted. Of course, we also thank all the people of Westbury for coming out and supporting the event. It made the hard work worthwhile.”

As hundreds assembled for the lights switch on, the Mayor thanked the organisers and the public for their participation and then presented the awards for the Mayor’s Christmas card competition, which was won this year by Martha Baldwin. The award for the winning Christmas shop window display was also presented to The Woollery on Haynes Road.

Cllr King said, “The crowd were awesome, it was awe-inspiring. As we counted down to the switch on, the atmosphere was electric and Santa did not disappoint. Martha pushed the button and all of Westbury came alive with light. I hope that everyone will assemble again next year and we will do it all again.”

The town council now looks forward to seeing everyone next year on Saturday 7th July for the Summer Celebration and to welcoming youngsters back for their Inflatable Fun Dayz which are planned to run again from March to September.

For more pictures please click on the picture above to be taken to our digital edition.

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