Published: November 24, 2012
Rain can't stop Burnham-On-Sea's Christmas lights switch-on!

Heavy rain didn't stop the festive spirit in Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday when the town's Christmas lights were switched on.

Although visitor numbers were down on previous years, several hundred people braved the weather to watch local Paralympic athletes Deb Criddle and Anthony Stephens light up the town and enjoy seasonal entertainment.

With festive music from St Andrew's School, the Mudlarks Community Choir and Berrow hand bell ringers, plus Father Christmas, roast chestnuts and face painting, there was still plenty to keep families amused despite the rain.

Four of Burnham's Olympic torchbearers, Jason Vickers, Tony Bird, Katrina Doyle and Arthur Gilbert, were joined on stage by Mayor Ken Smout, Carnival Queen Jenna Picton and princesses Rachel Nicol and Lily Kilduff on stage for the big switch-on.

The event was organised by Burnham Chamber of Trade, the Town Team and Burnham Lions outside the Somerset and Dorset pub in Burnham High Street and was compered by local radio presenter Ian Burrage.

Somerset equestrian rider Deb Criddle, who won three medals at the 2012 London Games and happily posed for photos with spectators, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It was a great honour to be asked to switch on Burnham's lights with Anthony. It was a such shame that the weather was poor, but there was still a great turnout and a real festive atmosphere."

Burnham Parlaympic swimmer Anthony Stephens added: "I really enjoyed it - it was an honour to be invited along and we had such as warm reception from the crowd - many thanks to all involved."

Burnham Chamber of Trade Co-Chairman Mark Newman said: "We're delighted that people came out despite the wet conditions. We have had great support and everyone was in good spirits, making it a great start to Christmas."

Santa got a warm reception when he appeared on stage

St Andrew's School Choir got the crowd in a festive mood with Christmas songs

Father Christmas distributed sweets to youngsters at the event

Burnham's Mudlarks Community Choir were in fine voice for their performance

The school choir entertained the crowds with a super line-up of songs

Santa arrived to loud cheers along the High Street

Burnham's torchbearers, Jason Vickers, Tony Bird, Katrina Doyle and Arthur Gilbert

Festive handbell music was provided by the Berrow Bells group

Burnham Chamber of Trade Co-Chairman Mark Newman and Mayor Ken Smout presented gifts to the two VIP guests to thank them for attending

Deb and Anthony were happy to pose for photos with the spectators

 


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