Sparkling lights turn-out despite heavy rain

Gary Wilmott and Wayne Sleep turned on the lights.
Gary Wilmott and Wayne Sleep turned on the lights.

The weather played havoc with this year’s Christmas Festival weekend in Leighton Buzzard – but nevertheless the town is now sparkling for the festive season.

The big lights switch-on and fireworks on Friday night marked the start of the festival which had been scheduled to run over the entire weekend. In the end, due to weather warnings, the Sunday activities were cancelled.

Waiting for the big switch-on.

Waiting for the big switch-on.

But the public has been praised by organisers Leighton-Linslade Town Council and LB First for turning out in numbers to the lights switch-on despite the attrocious conditions.

Gary Wilmot and Wayne Sleep, who are starring in Aladdin at Milton Keynes Theatre, performed the honours .

Stephen Cotter, Deputy Mayor, said: “We always appreciate the community’s support for our events and we were impressed how everyone stayed loyal when on Friday night, it bucketed down with heavy rain just as the countdown was about to start for the Christmas Lights and firework display.”

Friday proved to be the highlight of the weekend as alas the Met Office’s adverse weather predictions remained constant in their message for high winds and rain.

A town council spokesman saod: “The wind has the most impact on such events. As we continued to monitor the weather over the Saturday for our general market traders as well as the fair rides and food court traders, the right decision was made to call off the Sunday activity in time to give everyone fair warning and of course, ensure all traders and visitors remained safe.

“Cancellation notices were put up on the town map signs in and around the town centre with social media messages also posted.

Councillor Cotter added: “The legacy of the festival weekend is the promotion of our great shops where people can buy their seasonal goodies and presents. And of course the new Christmas Lights which we think offer a colourful alternative to previous years.

“We are especially proud of the three young children whose designs are incorporated in the scheme.”

See a picture special in Tuesday’s LBO.