ORGANISERS were delighted as an estimated 1,500 people attended the switch-on of the Christmas lights in Stalybridge.
Coronation Street heartthrob Scott Wright was the celebrity guest for the event that was focused on Armentieres Square which was closed to traffic. There were also attractions elsewhere in the town centre.
Ray Harrison, chair of Stalybridge Town Team that put on the event alongside Stalybridge Town Council, said: “There was a brilliant turnout of more than 1,500.
“Having the road closed in Armentieres Square worked well as the stage and many of the children’s rides were there.”
It was a new-look extravaganza as Stalybridge Town Council joined the Town Team for the first time in organising a joint venture.
Ray said: “Cllr Leanne Feeley had a vision to put on a stage event for all of the community to enjoy.
“She organised a stage Glastonbury would be proud of, complete with 18 volunteering performing artists, in total more than 80 children and adults giving their heart and soul.
“The performance did not stop in the square as Leanne made the programme to extend on to Melbourne Street where under a gazebo the choir Tameside Voices sang, surrounded by local shops providing horse chestnuts, mulled wine and a home bake stall for Willow Wood, and also a donkey wearing red socks to extend the Christmas festive spirit.”
The activities began at 1.30pm with the countdown to the switch-on taking place at 5.45pm and finishing at 6.30pm.
Santa arrived by barge that moored by the locks and his first task was to switch on the snow machine that sent snowflakes cascading down on spectators for a spectacular finale.
Santa was then taken to his grotto where he gave out sweets donated by Tesco’s to children.
The recognised charity for the event was Cancer Warriors and Scott Wright, who attended despite having a broken leg, is also a patron of that worthy cause.
Ray concluded: “This was a remarkable event and I would like to thank the Town Team, marshalls, councillors, local traders, Tesco’s, Tameside Canal Boat Trust for the barge and mostly Cllr Leanne Feeley, from Stalybridge Town Council, for the excellent programme and stage events.”
Pictures thanks to Dan Maley and Tameside Council.