Published:
November 26, 2017
Photos: Burnham-On-Sea Christmas lights switch-on draws big crowds

Big crowds of spectators turned out to watch BBC Points West presenter David Garmston switch on Burnham-On-Sea's Christmas lights on Saturday evening.

The event, organised by Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade, was held in Victoria Street and included by an afternoon of local community entertainment.

There were superb festive performances on the stage from Burnham and Highbridge Town Band, former Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist Gracie Wickens-Sweet, Lisa Jane School of Dance, St Andrew's School Choir, Brent Knoll School Choir, Coastline Singers, Burnham On Song and the Siobhan Johnson Singers.

A flurry of 'snow' moments after the switch-on added to the festive feel, which was in keeping with the freezing weather.

The Christmas lights were lit up for the festive season by the BBC's David Garmston alongside Burnham's MP James Heappey, Deputy Mayor Cllr Peter Clayton, Town Crier Alistair Murray, Carnival Queen Melissa Fear and BoS Factor talent competition winner Dennis Salmon, all pictured above.

David told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It was an honour to be invited along to switch on Burnham's Christmas lights and it was wonderful to receive such a warm welcome and to see everyone in a festive mood!"

The arrival of a flurry of 'snow' delighted youngsters in the crowd attending the switch-on.

Father Christmas also called in during the day, arriving on a specially-made train with the help of Burnham Lions, handing out free gifts to children.

And families were also able to enjoy free Christmas donkey rides, plus fairground rides and attractions. Festive stalls were also set up to add to the atmosphere.

The BoS Factor talent competition made a welcome return and saw Melissa Fear, Dennis Salmon and Paul Young reaching the final sing-off before the switch-on. Dennis was voted the winner, judged by the loudest cheers from the crowd, and he won the Chamber of Trade's £100 prize which he decided to donate Rosewood Carers Group and Music For The Memory, two local support groups.

Organisers at Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade & Commerce thanked all those who had attended and helped to make the event a success.

Among them were Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, who part-funded the event, and the various groups and individuals who performed on stage and traders.

Others thanked included the Chamber's Deryk Monaghan, Matt Scott, Keith Elliott, Mark Newman, Kay Haines, Rhonda Mills and Phil Hemming plus MC Dave Englefield from Sedgemoor FM, Burnham Lions, Burnham Carnival Committee, Rob Davey, The Victoria, GC Music, Keedwells, BARB and the Fire Service.

A Chamber of Trade spokesman added: "We thank everyone who helped to make the 2017 lights switch-on such a success."

"We were delighted that such a great number of spectators supported the event, getting Burnham's celebrations get off to a fantastic start."

"We encourage local shoppers to support our town centre shops in the run-up to Christmas."

Burnham On Song were the final act at Saturday's switch-on event

Christmas donkeys proved popular with families during the day

Lisa Jane School of Dance gave an impressive routine of dance and song

Brent Knoll School choir got the audience in a Christmas mood

Brent Knoll School choir sang a range of festive songs and carols

Santa created a wave of excitement as he arrived in Burnham-On-Sea

Father Christmas gave out presents and met youngsters

Dennis Salmon was crowned the winner of the BoS Factor 2017 contest

Melissa Fear sang several pitch-perfect songs in the BoS Factor contest

Paul Young was on top form as he sang in the BoS Factor competition

Coastline Singers performed a super range of festive music during the day

Burnham and Highbridge Town Band gave a stirring line-up of festive music

Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist Gracie Wickens-Sweet wowed the crowd with three songs that demonstrated her skills

St Andrew's School Choir sang a super range of songs for the event

The St Andrew's pupils were in great voice at Saturday's switch-on

A big crowd watched the event outside the Victoria Hotel in Burnham

The Carnival Queen with David Garmston, Cllr Peter Clayton and MP James Heappey ready to push the plunger to turn on the lights

Santa was delighted to meet several new young friends

The Christmas donkeys proved a hit with families visiting the event

Leah Norton of the Siobhan Johnson Singers was in full voice

Emily Thomas of the Siobhan Johnson Singers impressed with her songs

Families queued at the Burnham Lions train to meet Santa

That man with the big red coat was in popular demand!

Stalls lined Victoria Street in Burnham for the event

BARB and the fire service were invited along to Saturday's event

MC Dave Englefield interviewing Santa during the build-up to the switch-on

Cllr Andy Brewer and Cllr Peter Clayton meeting the BBC's David Garmston

Spectators enjoying the music during Saturday's switch-on event



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