'It all turned out well' - town sparkles as Christmas lights switched on
- Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske
After months of community fundraising, a town's sparkling Christmas lights display has been switched on.
North Walsham Christmas lights were switched on in a virtual ceremony at 6pm on Sunday night by special guest, Jim Bacon, a former BBC weather forecaster.
The virtual ceremony comes after a physical one was cancelled due to the pandemic, with organisers turning to crowd funding as they did not want to ask business owners for money during a difficult year for trade in the town.
Colin Jeary, head of North Walsham Christmas Lights Committee, said: "Our virtual ceremony was well attended and everything went as we had planned.
"We had to work hard to keep the plans under wraps as all the filming had to be done on Saturday, when the switch on would normally take place, because we didn't want people coming down and congregating.
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"We obviously thank everyone for their help, one of the trees was donated by the Phoenix Group, so the tree behind the Market Cross is a new one. We did want to put it in the middle of town but obviously because we've already got parking spaces cordoned off the highways team wouldn't let us do it.
"We just wanted to cheer the town up and bring a bit of joy, it all turned out pretty well at the end of the day."
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The group raised £2,015 for the display, more than the £500 target they had originally been hoping for, Mr Jeary says all money raised will go towards the lights fund as one small glitch with a string of lights could cost £800.
He added: "We've raised a lot more than we were planning for, obviously now we'll start thinking what we're going to be using the extra money for, but it can soon go if we have any issues.
"I can't actually see us having a massive amount left over, but over the next few weeks we'll be looking at finances and seeing where we're actually sitting."