Christmas lights come on in Bognor Regis

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It took two countdowns for the Christmas lights in Bognor Regis to come on.

The first switch-on proved to be a false start with just two of the High Street displays coming to life on Saturday, November 29.

C141069-9 Bog Lights  phot kate''Darren and Angela Barber with their children Jessica, nine, Luke, eight, and Lauren, two enjoying the lights.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141069-9 SUS-140112-091541001

C141069-9 Bog Lights phot kate''Darren and Angela Barber with their children Jessica, nine, Luke, eight, and Lauren, two enjoying the lights.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141069-9 SUS-140112-091541001

The crowd of several hundred spectators saw the funny side of the glitch. Most stayed put.

It took some seven minutes of ad libbing by the stars of the town’s panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, town councillors Jim Brooks and Tony Gardiner as well as Father Christmas before the illuminations could be properly switched on at their scheduled time of 4.45pm from the stage in the High Street.

Cllr Gardiner, the town’s mayor, told the crowd: “I hope the new lights have put you in the Christmas spirit.

“I hope you have come in to shop today and will come back again because it’s only you that will keep Bognor alive.

“We need people to shop here and we need events going on. It’s important we do that.”

Before the countdowns, the panto stars - including children’s tv presenter Kara Kingsward-Hughes as Snow White - entertained onlookers with a range of songs from the show.

Kirsten Fitzpatrick, the council’s events assistant, praised the performers such as Snow White, the prince, and the Fairy of Light for overcoming the false start. They had travelled down from rehearsals for a London West End show for the event.

“It’s been a really good day and the town centre has been busy all the time.

“Considering people might be shopping for Black Friday bargains in places like Portsmouth and Brighton, it is amazing so many people have been here,” she said.

“There has been a fantastic atmosphere helped by the sunny weather.”

See the Bognor Regis Observer on December 4 for further coverage.