Getting in the festive mood - photo Tony MargiocchiGetting in the festive mood - photo Tony Margiocchi
Getting in the festive mood - photo Tony Margiocchi

In pictures: Crowds turn out for Christmas lights switch-on in Leighton Buzzard

Crowds turn out as Christmas gets underway in Leighton Buzzard

A dazzling spectacle unfolded in the heart of Leighton Buzzard on Friday evening as the town ushered in the holiday season.

The High Street drew thousands of residents and visitors who revelled in the festive spirit ahead of the switching on of the lights.

Gennaro Borelli, Chair of LB First, took centre stage as he led the jubilant countdown, joined by guests including town mayor councillor Kevin Pughe, the Leighton-Linslade Carnival Court, Andrew Selous MP, and Nick Whitehouse MBE, representing the Townlands Trust following the restoration of the iconic Market Cross.

The festivities continued to unfold with the Christmas craft and gift market, a delectable food court, a lively funfair, and the enchanting Santa’s Grotto, ensuring a delightful experience for all. The High Street resonated with joy as local performers graced the stage, skillfully compered by the Leighton Buzzard Better Speakers Club.

The merriment continued on Saturday with the bustling Charter Market and Handmade and Craft Market, captivating residents while the Santa Dash organised by Leighton Fun Runners took place from Parson’s Close Recreation Ground. Meanwhile, street theatre and performances by local musical groups animated the High Street.

Undeterred by a cold, crisp morning, Sunday saw shoppers exploring the High Street for unique gifts, indulgent treats, and captivating entertainment. Sami Sleigh, the Lairy Fairy and her Christmas Puddings, and the Sofa Driving Santas provided a festive atmosphere throughout the day, complemented by free craft activities from local artists.

Gennaro said: “It was an absolutely brilliant evening, the High Street was packed. It was an absolutely superb weekend from start to finish.”

Leighton-Linslade Town Council has thanked contributors who made the festive weekend a resounding success.

A spokesman said: “Special appreciation is reserved for LB First for their unwavering support throughout the planning and execution of this annual event.”

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