Switch-on event will light up town

Billy the Blub's toasty scarf
Billy the Blub's toasty scarf

PREPARATIONS are underway as Bognor Regis gets ready to twinkle.

The festive countdown to the town’s Christmas light switch-on on November 23 has begun.

The annual occasion, held by Bognor Regis Town Council, will take place at 4.30pm on November 23 at the junction of London Road and High Street.

A council spokeswoman said there would be more to enjoy than in previous years.

“This year will be unlike any other as the town council has been working with Rox Music and Arts to provide an exciting event for the town with something for all ages,” she said.

The day will begin at 11am when a family of reindeer will move on to the railway station concourse to be admired and photographed.

Santa’s Grotto, also on the concourse, will open at the same time. Entry to see Father Christmas will be ticket only at £2.50 a ticket. Numbers are restricted. Places must be booked on 01243 825535.

Both attractions will be open until 4pm. Robbie the Elf will be performing magic and balloon modelling inside Boots, in London Road, between the same times.

The outdoor fun will start at 2pm with live performances on the Rox stage, near Bonmarche, to lead into the switch-on at 4.30pm.

Lead cast members from this year’s Regis Centre panto, Babes in the Wood, will perform the ceremony.

Robin Hood, Maid Marion and Friar Tuck will be joined by the town mayor and Father Christmas.

Meanwhile, needles have been clicking like the clappers to help keep a popular town mascot nice and cosy for the festive occasion.

Keen knitters have created 50ft long sections of a scarf for the town’s popular Billy the Bulb mascot.

The colourful swatches have been sewn into one giant piece of neckware for the lighting symbol.

The ladies of Rose Green Post Office and others joined in the fun, which was organised by Whittington and Grandsons.

Billy will be swaddled in the knitwear to keep out 
the winter chill at the switch-on.

A rejuvenated Billy made his first appearance for some time earlier this year at the town’s Illumination Gala.