Big crowds of people flocked to Burnham-On-Sea’s annual Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday (November 22nd) when BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell officially started the town’s festive season.

Over 70 colourful lights were turned on across the town centre during an afternoon of free festive entertainment involving local choirs, schools and music groups.

The crowds were also able to see a display of real reindeer in Victoria Street, and also enjoy a Christmas market in the town centre overseen by Burnham’s Chamber of Trade.

After hitting a plunger to turn on the lights, Alex told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I was over the moon to be invited to switch on Burnham’s lights – I had such a warm welcome and it was great to see everyone getting into a festive mood. I wish everyone a great Christmas.”

Saturday’s event got underway with the Coastline Singers performing on stage at 12.30pm, followed by the first round of the BOS Factor talent show.

The Berrow Hand Bell Ringers also entertained the audience, followed by the music from Burnham’s St Joseph’s School, Curtain Call, St Andrew’s School, Burnham Youth Choir and Burnham On Song.

Big crowds flocked to watch the big switch-on outside The Victoria Hotel

Father Christmas made his grand entrance onboard one of the BARB rescue hovercrafts and then, to the delight of children, handed out free sweets.

An outdoor food and craft gift market held along Victoria Street throughout the day was also well suppprted with many stalls reporting brisk trade.

Burnham Chamber of Trade thanked all those who took part and attended. Among those praised were the various groups and individuals who performed on stage, plus Rob Davey Electricals, the Town Council, Martin and Dee Lloyd at The Victoria, the Chamber of the Trade’s Deryk Monaghan, Kay Haines, Bev Milner Simonds, Phil Hemming and Rhonda Mills, plus Burnham Carnival Committee and Burnham Lions.

Chairman Mark Newman added: “We’re delighted that we had such a great number of people watch the town’s Christmas celebrations get off to a super start. There was lots of very positive feedback on the real reindeer display – a first this year – and the super singing groups. We thank everyone who helped us with the event.”

Burnham’s town centre lights are now illuminated until the first week of January