Harborough town centre packed for the Christmas lights switch-on
The countdown to Santa has well and truly begun in Market Harborough as the Christmas lights were switched on amid great fanfare.
Cllr Barbara Johnson, chairman of Harborough District Council, flicked on the decorations to light up the town centre as darkness fell.
She was flanked by Cllr Phil King, the council’s leader, and Mark Robinson, chief executive of Market Harborough Building Society, as she did the honours.
Towered over by the town’s magnificent tree, hundreds of excited people flocked on to The Square on Friday evening (Nov 22) to cheer the age-old ceremony.
Cllr Johnson said: “It was a lovely Christmassy atmosphere.
“We had a big crowd come into town, bigger than last year’s, and it was fantastic to see so many mums and dads and their children there.
“I was thrilled to switch the Christmas lights on here for the first time.”
She said Stagecoach Performing Arts excelled themselves as they entertained shoppers and revellers.
“It was great to see them singing Christmas carols and helping the whole evening go with a swing as we all got in the mood,” said Cllr Johnson.
And there was plenty to eat as the firecracker yuletide celebration was backed up by a three-day Food and Drink Festival in the heart of town.
“The market was very popular and there was a wide range of splendid food to suit all tastes on sale,” said Cllr Johnson.
“Visitors drove into town from all over the area to take part in and enjoy a very special night.”
More than 30 shops also stayed open late for families as Harborough retail group Harbs Collective staged an ‘After Hours’ night.
“We’ve got some excellent independent shops in Harborough and a vibrant, busy business community,” said Cllr Johnson.
“I’m very proud that Market Harborough is so buoyant economically.
“The Christmas lights switch on showcased all that’s best about our brilliant town.”