More than a thousand people turned out for Ferndown’s Christmas lights switch on, which has been steadily building over the last three years since the Chamber of Commerce set up an event committee to organise it.
With the help of Ferndown Town Council and Ferndown Rotary Club, plus full permission to use the whole of Penny’s Walk for the first time, there were 25 stalls, a Santa’s Grotto, live entertainment, hot food and fairground rides as well as the Chamber stall with mulled wine, mince pies and raffle.
The festive atmosphere started in the afternoon with visitors able to pet a pony, meet Father Christmas and take aim in the Parley Rotary Club’s coconut shy as well win tombola prizes and browse a variety of charity and other stalls.
Live performers included the Studio One Choir, Matt Griffiths, Amie Knight and the ever-popular Gugge 2000 band who got everyone joining in.
And when it got dark, the town crier Mike Andrews with the Mayor Cllr Mike Parkes started the countdown to a breathtaking light switch on that made Ferndown sparkle magically with new sets of lights strung through Penny’s Walk, in the trees and throughout the town. To everyone’s delight, the Christmas tree in Victoria Road took centre stage by switching on after everything else.
Stuart Fleetham, chairman of the Events Committee said, “Over the past three years I have headed the FCOC Christmas Events Committee with Ben Pulford and I can safely say 2016 has been our best one yet.
“I must extend a massive thank you to all of the volunteers and stallholders who gave their time freely.
“All feedback I have received has been extremely positive, with people saying how much they now look forward to Christmas in the town.
“The investment made on the Christmas lights by both Ferndown Town Council and FCOC is clearly shown with the lights in Ringwood Road and also the new lights on the clock tower and Penny’s Walk trees.
“Ben and I look forward to working closely with Ferndown Rotary Club to make 2017’s Christmas Lights Switch On bigger and better.”
Winners of the hamper raffle prizes were: 1st Mrs Hales, 2nd Perrie Winter, and 3rd Ellie Rew