PUBLISHED: 20:18 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 20:33 15 November 2018
Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit for the Christmas lights switch on Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN
Stunning decorations and a snow machine delighted the community as the Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds sparkled for the first time this year.
This year specialist breast cancer surgeon Dr Liz O’Riordan did the honours of switching them on, marking the start of the festive period in the town.
She described the atmosphere as “amazing,” adding that it was “great to see the community out and about”.
“The town was absolutely packed,” Dr O’Riordan said. “The lights look stunning – I think they are better than ever.”
Organised by the business improvement group Ourburystedmunds, the Christmas extravaganza featured a programme of street and stage entertainment, including a snow machine and a host of festive fundraising stalls for charities.
Dr O’Riordan, who has also had treatment for breast cancer herself, has recently published a book about the illness which she hopes will inspire others who are undergoing treatment.
She was famously pictured dressed as Mrs Incredible for her final radiotherapy treatment, and once again donned the superhero costume for the switch-on.
Dozens of good causes booked market stalls for the evening and there were also fairground rides, food stalls, a baby reindeer and panto characters.
The event is one of the annual free town centre attractions run by Ourburystedmunds.
Chief executive Mark Cordell said: “The BID is proud to make sure the town has a stunning selection of Christmas lights and switch-on night is always great fun for families and shoppers as we prepare for the festive countdown.
“It’s all part of the build-up to our other Christmas attractions of dodgems and the return of Santa’s log-cabin Grotto to Charter Square.
“Dr O’Riordan has inspired many this year with her work and her own experience with breast cancer, so we were honoured when she accepted the invitation to switch on the lights.
“We will be making a charitable donation to the West Suffolk Hospital’s Breast Unit at Liz’s request to thank her.”
Many of the town’s shops also stayed open for Christmas shopping.
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