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Thousands turn out for Shrewsbury's biggest Lights Switch-On event

Thousands of people gathered in Shrewsbury last night for the town's biggest Christmas Lights Switch-on event to date. The event started at 4pm when the street food festival, Eat Street opened to visitors in the grounds of St Alkmund's Church. This was followed by bands, choirs, acoustic acts and street entertainers performing in the Square, Shopping Centres, Market Hall, Museum and Art Gallery, St Mary's Church, and in the main streets.

At 6.30pm, thousands gathered in the Square to see the arrival of the popular lantern parade and the lights being switched on by cast members from Theatre Severn's pantomime Dick Whittington, Mayor of Shrewsbury Councillor Miles Kenny and town crier Martin Wood. Outside the Darwin Centre, crowds also gathered to witness the newly named reindeer, Shrewdolph being switched on.

Shrewsbury BID Manager Kirsten Henly said: "Shrewsbury's businesses pulled out all the stops for last night's event, which really was the biggest in terms of seasonal entertainment and activity. The atmosphere was amazing as crowds gathered across the different town centre venues. Last night marks the start of Shrewsbury's most varied Christmas programme to date with a variety of one-off events planned over the coming weeks.

Helen Ball, Town Clerk said: "Shrewsbury's Christmas Cracker event was a huge success, our staff estimated around 3,500 people turned out to see the lights switched on in the Square and the audio relay on Pride Hill and at St Alkmund's, provided by Microvideo, meant people could enjoy the countdown at different points across town. The varied programme, which included music performances, Eat Street, the lantern parade and, of course, Santa's sleigh kept people in town longer and spread over a wider area than ever before. A fantastic start to Shrewsbury's festive season."

Every Wednesday up until Christmas people visiting Shrewsbury town centre park free in council-owned long-stay car parks after 4pm.

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