Crewkerne held its best ever Christmas Lighting Up night on Friday with many added attractions. The festive fun began with the opening of the popular craft fayre in Victoria Hall, where Crewkerne Community Church served seasonal refreshments, showcased a chocolate and gingerbread house made by Judy Sprackton and accepted donations for the town’s Christmas Lights fund.

Radio DJ Steve Carpenter invited the entrants in the children’s Christmas hat competition on stage in Market Square, where their festive designs were judged by Crewkerne mayor Ben Hodgson. All entrants received a prize, kindly donated by local businessman Brian E Forster of Prototype Me. The winner of the Christmas shop window competition was Crewkerne Antiques Centre, whose representatives received the winners shield on behalf of the whole team. Judging of the shop window competition by deputy mayor Kathy Head and councillor Katy Pritchard was made a lot harder this year due to the high standard of entries. Three shop windows at A J Wakely & Sons, Sheer Magic and the Menders were highly commended. The entertainment continued with
young performers from the Dance House displaying their dance skills and CUDOS singing Christmas carols.

Many shops, cafes and businesses stayed open late and offered complimentary refreshments, Humphries Kirk solicitors offered passers by a free glass of orange juice or mulled wine and mince pies. Charity stalls in Falkland Square reported a brisk trade. Pupils from the Maiden Beech Academy, taking part in the Rotary Club of Crewkerne young persons business initiative, were raising money for Cancer Research and sold out of many of their hand crafted gifts early in the evening. Phoenix Brass band played popular tunes to keep the public entertained while they waited for Father Christmas to arrive in Market Street.

The Christmas procession was led by Crewkerne Firefighters in a station appliance. Merriott Majorettes gave a wonderful display of baton twirling as spectators caught their first glimpse of Father Christmas in his Rotary Club of Crewkerne District sleigh. The Christmas tree lights were switched on after a ten second countdown by Father Christmas, town crier David Craner and Crewkerne’s mayor and mayoress Ben and Diane Hodgson. Panto characters Gaston and Belle from Yeovil Amateur Pantomime Society’s forthcoming production of Beauty & The Beast sang popular rock songs as families queued to visit Father Christmas in his festive grotto in the town hall.

In the George Shopping Centre, there was ‘no business like snow business’ as crowds dispersing from the town’s Market Square delighted in the artificial snow falling from the upstairs window of McKinlays estate agents. As children played in the snow, Crewkerne Crewners sang carols and other festive songs. Hot refreshments were available in the town centre from the 1st Crewkerne Scouts stall and from Oscar’s cart, keeping the festive buzz in the town for longer this year, despite the cold bite in the air. Crewkerne Christmas Committee who organised the Lighting Up night, were delighted with the evening’s turn out commenting: “It was the best ever Christmas Lighting Up night in Crewkerne.”

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