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Orpington lights up for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:09 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 18 November 2019

Santa takes to the stage to get things started. Picture: Orpington 1st

Santa takes to the stage to get things started. Picture: Orpington 1st

Archant

Orpington has lit up as the festive season starts to get into full swing.

Fun as the Christmas lights were switched on in Orpington. Picture: Orpington 1stFun as the Christmas lights were switched on in Orpington. Picture: Orpington 1st

Thousands of families watched and enjoyed an evening of entertainment on Thursday, November 14 as the town's annual Christmas lights switch on event Light Up Orpington took place.

Funded and organised by the town centre business community, Orpington 1st, the event saw the High Street transformed for a seasonal extravaganza with two stages hosting a full line-up of live entertainment, food, drink and gift stalls, fairground rides and a spectacular firework display.

Many local businesses took the opportunity to join in the festivities with a number hosting additional activities.

The big day also saw the opening of The Walnuts Shopping Centre's free Santa's Grotto with the large queues kept entertained by members of Orpington Magic Society.

Crowds enjoyed the fun at Light Up Orpington. Picture: Orpington 1stCrowds enjoyed the fun at Light Up Orpington. Picture: Orpington 1st

Orpington 1st BID manager Chris Travers said: "It was another brilliant night with a great atmosphere. Light Up is established as an event that Orpington can be proud of and huge credit should go to the business community for its continued investment in our town centre, creating occasions like this which the whole town can enjoy."

Santa was joined on the main stage by a few friends from the Orpington Village Hall's pantomime, Mother Goose, along with ward councillors William Huntingdon-Thresher, Pauline Tunnicliffe and Kim Botting, and Orpington 1st chairman Martin Price, who paid tribute to the volunteers from Orpington Rotary and the London Fire Cadets.

Then came the firework display before some rock 'n' roll from Vince Lighting and The Thunderbolts brought proceedings to a close.

The fireworks brought the celebrations to a close. Picture: Michael CockerhamThe fireworks brought the celebrations to a close. Picture: Michael Cockerham

Posting on Facebook, Orpington resident Bridget Daly said: "All events going on were amazing and to top it the fireworks were the best ever. So thank you to all involved in organising and running such a lovely event."

And Stephen Sangster tweeted: "Congratulations to Orpington 1st and all the businesses and support staff for the light switch-on. Another very successful event enjoyed by the whole family."

On December 8, the town centre will see the Orpington Santa Dash where hundreds of residents don Santa suits to run through the Priory Gardens and into the town centre.

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