Let there be light! Crowds turn out for Kirkby Christmas Festival

Festive cheer filled the streets of Kirkby when residents turned out in force for this year’s Christmas Festival.
Kirkby Christmas lights switched on.
Primary School pupils sing carols.Kirkby Christmas lights switched on.
Primary School pupils sing carols.
Kirkby Christmas lights switched on. Primary School pupils sing carols.

Last year the event was revamped and hailed a huge success, and it seemed that this year the celebrations were even bigger and better.

Activitites included a ‘snowball speed challenge’, on Kingsway, and activities at St Thomas’ Church and Church Hall. Meanwhile townsfolk dressed as Mary and Joseph were accompanied by a real donkey to bring a reminder of the origins of Christmas and Santa Claus stopped off to delight youngsters hoping to request some last-minute gifts.

There was plenty of other entertainment in the form of market and craft stalls and a colourful fun fair. Many shops also stayed open.

The event was organised by the Kirkby Christmas Planning Group, which is made up of local partnership organisations and businesses.

The Christmas lights were switched on by Paralympic swimming champion Ollie Hynd, along with Orchard Primary School pupil Harvey Limb, aged nine. Harvey was the winner of a colouring competition run by Everyone Active Festival Hall Leisure Centre.

Harvey was among more than 200 children from local schools who coloured-in an image of Santa and his entry - which included adding flashing lights - was judged to be the best. Runner-up was five-year-old Caitlin May,from Kingsway Primary School. The children won free family skating passes to be used at the centre.

Centre manager Nick Stowey said: “Harvey’s entry really caught the judges’ eyes because he had added his own festive touches. He was very excited to have won the chance to help switch on the lights and never stopped smiling. I think the general feeling was that it was a great night and it seemed busier than last year’s event.”

Colouring competition entries have now gone on display at the leisure centre.

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