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An exceptional number of people attended the InExeter Christmas light switch on spectacular on Sunday marking the beginning of the festive shopping season in the city. This year Exeter saw the largest display of Christmas lights being switched on, with lights stretching from Fore Street to Sidwell Street and from Queen Street to Cathedral Green. The event was hosted by Radio Exe, and ran in partnership Crealy Adventure Park and Resort and Stagecoach.
A full day of activities and entertainment saw the High Street transformed into a Christmas extravaganza of crafting and decoration making, with visits from a Winter Fairy, roller-skating Christmas presents and the Fairy Godmother, as well as the opportunity to have your festive photos taken on the Crealy Christmas sleigh complete with elves, toy soldiers and candy canes.
On stage, performances throughout the day got the audience in the Christmas spirit, including ice skater Yvette Mailto, the star of the new Christmas On Ice show, part of the Crealy Christmas Spectacular, the Festive House Band, Cameron Lemmer, the University of Exeter’s 34-person Soul Choir and drumming group the Break Beat Bandits.
Winners of InExeter and Radio Exe’s quest to find a Star in Exeter also performed. Thirteen-year-old electric guitarist and singer, Isaac Reeves, and his ten-year-old sister Isla Reeves, who sang and played the keyboards wowed the crowds with their own versions of Johnny B. Goode and We Are The Champions. The over 18’s Star in Exeter was won by local band, Leave Before Dawn, who performed tracks from Coldplay and The Killers.
Hosted by Radio Exe presenters Ashley Jeary and Ben Clark, the crowd was treated to fun and games, with ten audience members winning an Independent Retailer Gift Card – a brand new scheme from InExeter for shoppers who want to give their loved ones the opportunity to choose beautiful, unique, gifts from the city’s local retailers.
Ann Hunter, InExeter Manager said; “Being able to offer an all day, family event to residents and visitors to the city was a brilliant way to celebrate the start of the city wide, festive celebrations. I would like to thank Crealy Adventure Park and Resort, Stagecoach and all our Exeter businesses for helping to make this event possible. Without them, we would not have been able to put on such a , family event within the city centre.”
Crealy's general manager Josh Haywood said; "We are very proud to have been a main sponsor of such an exciting event. It was great fun to see everyone enjoying all the activities and shows we put on and to bring a sneak preview of our Crealy Christmas Spectacular to the streets of Exeter.”
On the day, festive craft activities included the opportunity to make a mini Christmas Wreath and Christmas garlands, as well as paper cut angels, snowflakes and Christmas decorations, a make your own Christmas cracker, Christingle and cards workshop and magical willow wand making classes.
Mattie Richardson of Bunyip Crafts who organised the festive craft activities alongside InExeter said; “Over the past few weeks myself and my team of crafters have been working closely with InExeter to create a fantastic schedule of free, festive crafting activities. I really hope all our crafters enjoyed taking part in these and were able to take something away that will be cherished for years to come.”
Not only was Exeter illuminated ready for Christmas this month but shoppers can now enjoy the delights of Exeter’s Christmas Markets on Cathedral Green which opened on 15th November, and look forward to Gandy Street’s Countdown to Christmas on 22nd November, set to be another amazing way to see in the festive season.
For more information on all of Exeter’s festive events and to see photos from the Christmas Lights Switch on, visit www.InExeter.com