Leighton Buzzard’s Christmas Festival launched in spectacular style

Christmas began in style in Leighton-Linslade with the return of the popular Christmas Festival weekend.

Beginning at 4pm on a cold an d crisp Friday evening, visitors were treated to over 30 craft and gift stalls to browse in the High Street along with the food court in Church Square and the funfair.

Leighton Buzzard Christmas Lights 2019. Photo: Jane Russell

Leighton Buzzard Christmas Lights 2019. Photo: Jane Russell

Festivities were led on Friday evening from the main stage next to the Market Cross where thousands turned out to watch the turning on of the Christmas Lights and spectacular firework display at 7pm culminating in rapturous applause.

Funk Odyssey headlined the stage with performances from community dance groups and choirs leading up to the big switch-on.

Readers of the LBO nominated local VIPs to lead the switch-on with David and Sally Allsopp recognised for their dedication to Leighton Buzzard Children’s Theatre over the last 25 years. Also chosen were Freya Kinloch and Joshua Cullip for their kindness and compassion towards others whilst facing their own challenges. The VIPs joined the Mayor, representatives of the Carnival Court and LB First on stage for the switch-on.

“It was great to see so many people in the high street on Friday evening enjoying time with their friends and family,” said Cllr Amanda Dodwell, Chair of the Cultural and Economic Services Committee.

Leighton Buzzard Christmas Lights 2019. Photo: Jane Russell

Leighton Buzzard Christmas Lights 2019. Photo: Jane Russell

The Kids Out annual Santa Dash began the celebrations on Saturday from outside their headquarters in Church Square. Granny Turismo and Juggling Jim provided the Charter Market with festive entertainment throughout the day.

The finale to the festival weekend saw the Christmas Craft and Gift market return to the High Street on Sunday with entertainment from the Eureka Jazz Band, Fantastiko’s Fantastic Electric Entertainment and some giant bouncing elves.

Children had the opportunity to have their face painted, take home a balloon model or decorate a festive biscuit with the Smart Raspberry Cookery School.

The festival weekend is delivered by the town council with the support of co-organisers LB First, LB Speakers, MS Entertainments and the performers throughout the weekend. If you would like more information about the Leighton-Linslade Christmas Festival Weekend visit www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk; keep an eye on the council’s social media channels or email eventsteam@leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk.

Leighton Buzzard Christmas Lights 2019. Photo: Jane Russell

Leighton Buzzard Christmas Lights 2019. Photo: Jane Russell

> See more photos in Tuesday’s LBO