Bewdley's lights go up in time for Christmas

Kidderminster Shuttle: Festive cheer: Linda Candlin switching on the lights with carnival princesses from left, Leah Gittins, Alice Chedham, Megan Edmunds, Abigail Thompson. Festive cheer: Linda Candlin switching on the lights with carnival princesses from left, Leah Gittins, Alice Chedham, Megan Edmunds, Abigail Thompson.

THE sounds of laughter and festive cheer echoed across the streets of Bewdley as a record number of people filled the streets to watch the town sparkle.

About 6,000 excited people helped create an “electrifying” atmosphere at the popular Bewdley Christmas Lights Festival which, organisers said was by far the highest turnout to the annual event that usually attracts between 4,000 and 5,000 people.

The town centre bustled with visitors who waved their hands in the air and cheered as the parade, led by the Children’s Nativity Group, made its way down Load Street before stopping at the Guildhall, where the lights were turned on.

Bewdley Mayor Linda Candlin flicked the switch, along with the four Bewdley Carnival princesses - Megan Edmonds, Alice Chedham, Leah Gittins and Abigail Thomas - to start the countdown to Christmas.

Entertainment, including music, a funfair, balloon art and more than 80 market stalls, helped to bring added festive cheer to Saturday’s event.

Maggie Dalloway, one of the organisers, said the festival went “extremely well”.

“It was very good,” she added. “We broke the record judging by the numbers because there were so many people in the main centre street that they all squeezed in. It was absolutely packed. It was really full.

“The atmosphere was electrifying. It was amazing. The children and everyone were happy and full of laughter. It just gives you that warm feeling.”

She added the reaction of the crowd was “amazing” as they got into the Christmas spirit while waiting for the lights to be switched on.

“All of the traders must have done really well because there were so many people. It was a success. We are really thrilled with how it went.

“The feedback on the day was very positive. People were telling us that it was really good.

“People come from far and wide to Bewdley’s event. They come and stay with friends just to see the Bewdley Christmas Lights Festival because it’s now got such a good reputation.”

She said she wanted to thank the sponsors of the event and wished “everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year”.

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