Crowds gathered to watch Eastwood’s Christmas lights being switched on last week.
Festive spirit flooded the streets as hundreds of families put their daily concerns to one side to launch the countdown to Christmas at the town’s spectacular lights switch-on.
Thoughts of the recession, unemployment and families struggling to afford food and to heat their homes were off the agenda as the switch was flicked on Tuesday night against a backdrop of fireworks, music and a colourful lantern parade.
There was fun to be had all the way from Eastwood Library in Wellington Place down to the young people’s centre in Mansfield Road in a packed programme of entertainment, music and dance.
Fireworks marked the big switch-on after Eastwood Mayor Cllr Hazel Charlesworth, Broxtowe Mayor Cllr Iris White and Brinsley Parish Council chairman Cllr John Booth pushed the plunger to light the town up.
There was a varied musical programme with Take That favourites from Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams impersonators, The Gary and Robbie Experience, brass bands and school carol singers.
The Musketeers Showband of Chesterfield and Eastwood led a lantern parade through the town centre as part of the countdown to the switch-on, and a train rode through the streets packed with excited children.
Other children were equally excited as they queued up to meet Santa in his grotto, each of them receiving a gift.
“It’s getting better and better every year,” said Cllr Charlesworth, who said that her first lights switch-on event was ‘nerve-wracking’.
“It’s so well organised and it’s a fantastic night out. People who have grown up with the lights switch-on bring their children along because they know how great an event it is.
“I heard people came from away as far as Kent to see it this year!”