Crowds turn out

Middleton Guardian - - CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON -

HUN­DREDS of peo­ple packed into Mid­dle­ton Gar­dens to see the Christ­mas lights switched on.

Ahead of the main event, per­form­ers took to the stage in the gar­dens to en­ter­tain the crowd, in­clud­ing the award-win­ning Mid­dle­ton Brass Band, Lan­g­ley Theatre Work­shop, Trac­ing Steps and Mid­dle­ton Pop Stars.

Sis­ters Paris and Sa­van­nah Kunyo, aged five and seven, per­formed four songs – Rock­ing Around the Christ­mas Tree, I Saw Mama Kiss­ing Santa Claus, Be My Baby and Santa Claus is Com­ing to Town – and the au­di­ence clapped and danced along.

There were food stalls to en­joy and Mid­dle­ton Round Ta­ble put on free mulled wine and mince pies to get every­one in the fes­tive mood.

Santa and his elves paid a visit to the event, where there was also a fun­fair and a free photo booth pro­vid­ing sou­venirs of the night.

A raf­fle was held to raise money for lo­cal char­i­ties, with dona­tions from busi­nesses in­clud­ing Lords the Butch­ers, Lean and Green and The Milk Barn, and Niche Hair and Beauty.

Mar­ket traders also do­nated prizes, such as a sweet ham­per.

Ros Lid­dle and Jan Eaton-Dykes from Mid­dle­ton in Bloom won the Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre com­pe­ti­tion to ‘Be a Star’ for the night, in recog­ni­tion of their hard work around the First World War cen­te­nary and in­stalling pop­pies around the town.

The pair switched on the lights along­side Naaira Za­man, the may­oress of Rochdale, Coun Donna Wil­liams, the chair of Mid­dle­ton Town­ship, and the man him­self – Santa, be­fore the event cul­mi­nated with a fire­works dis­play.

Vic­to­ria Davies, town cen­tre and mar­ket man­ager, from Mid­dle­ton Town Cen­tre Man­age­ment, who or­gan­ised the event in part­ner­ship with Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre and Rochdale coun­cil said: “We again had an amaz­ing turn out, there were hun­dreds of peo­ple here.

“All our per­form­ers on stage were bril­liant and got every­one in the Christ­mas spirit.

“The at­mos­phere was great all day and had a real com­mu­nity feel about it, es­pe­cially with the ‘Be a Star’ com­pe­ti­tion and hav­ing the lights switched on by our ‘spe­cial guests’, voted for by the peo­ple of Mid­dle­ton, which seemed to make it ex­tra spe­cial. The peo­ple of Mid­dle­ton once again did us proud.”

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