Town lit up for fes­tive sea­son

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Ste­[email protected]­ @RochdaleNews

ASPRINKLING of fes­tive magic came to the town this week­end as thou­sands joined the countdown to Christ­mas at the fes­tive lights switch-on, gift mar­ket and a daz­zling fire­works dis­play at the town hall.

More than 2,500 peo­ple at­tended the event which fea­tured a fes­tive mar­ket in the Great Hall, fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment, food and drink.

Rochdale town hall was the big­gest light of them all - lit in spec­tac­u­lar colours es­pe­cially for the oc­ca­sion.

Among the fun ac­tiv­i­ties were craft ses­sions and face paint­ing for chil­dren and guest ap­pear­ances by pop­u­lar chil­dren’s TV char­ac­ters Ben and Holly.

‘The Melody Hub’ pre­sented mu­sic and per­cus­sion work­shops as well as host­ing taster ses­sions for bud­ding young mu­si­cians.

Sea­sonal food and drink was served along with per­for­mances by Rochdale War­dle Com­mu­nity Brass Band who en­ter­tained a packed Great Hall with Christ­mas favourites. A Christ­mas Café on the ground floor as well as out­door stalls served hot food and mulled wine for those wait­ing for the switch-on. This was ac­com­pa­nied by mu­sic and per­for­mances by Sky­light Cir­cus Arts and Stilt Bat­ter­is­tas – tall drum­mers lit up with sparkling lights and play­ing fes­tive songs along with two cheeky elves search­ing the crowd for Santa.

As the town hall clock struck five, for­mer Hol­lyoaks star Nathan Mor­ris ap­peared on the bal­cony to in­tro­duce his guests from this year’s Gra­cie Fields Theatre pan­tomime ‘Sleep­ing Beauty’ – ac­tress Stacey Cole­man, Jenny Ryan from ‘The Chase’ as well as co­me­dian Ben ‘Wally’ Sher­lock.

They were fol­lowed by the Mayor, Coun Mo­ham­mad Za­man, May­oress Naaira Za­man, Ben Elf and Princess Holly and of course, Fa­ther Christ­mas to help switch on the lights for 2018.

The Mayor said: “What a fan­tas­tic fam­ily event for the lo­cal com­mu­nity – the crowds were ex­cel­lent, and the town hall was very busy all af­ter­noon.

“We also had peo­ple at­tend­ing from other ar­eas across Greater Manch­ester so events like this are a great show­case for our town hall and won­der­ful town cen­tre.

“I hope to see ev­ery­one back in town over the next few weeks sup­port­ing our lo­cal busi­nesses.”

As the lights were switched on, the night came alive with fire­works and mu­sic.

And in Whit­worth, an es­ti­mated 700 peo­ple came out into the town to watch the lights be­ing switched on on Sun­day.

Mayor Made­line De Souza was joined for the big mo­ment by Amelia Mayoh and Han­nah Earn­shaw – win­ners of a colour­ing com­pe­ti­tion held by the Town Coun­cil.

This Satur­day the lights are switched on in Lit­tle­bor­ough town cen­tre.

The event runs from 12pm to 6pm.

●●The Christ­mas lights switch-on in Whit­worth

●●Rochdale Christ­mas lights switch-on, above, be­low, and above right

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