Christmas lights pull the crowds

A bustling Belper town centre started off Christmas 2012 in fine style with two festive events that brought hundreds of people out on the streets to celebrate.

On Friday night the button was pushed on the town’s lights by mayor Mark Robertson, Derby County Captain Shaun Barker and mascot Rammie, before St Elizabeth’s School Choir got the evening underway with a performance in the Memorial Gardens. Families then enjoyed everything from Punch & Judy to Belper Town Wind Band and a barrel organ.

Stalls were also run by First Alton Manor Scouts, the Strutts Centre, Belper Drop Inn, andTransition Belper and many shops stayed open late to benefit from the extra trade.

The festivities resumed on Sunday as a huge food fair, with everything from camel to zebra on offer saw traders once again enjoying a huge influx of visitors.

King Street was crammed full of sellers from Amber Ales to butchers, cake stalls, pet stalls and bread sellers.

Meanwhile, performers entertained crowds outside Fresh Basil and Wilkinson’s, while a large trailer was set-up outside the Black Swan pub for more musical performances and the crowds enjoyed a steady stream of acts during a beer festival.

Belper Central councillor, John Nelson, said: “It was an absolutely spectacular weekend – credit to all the people who did the hard work and a really wonderful turnout.

“It just keeps get better and better - we have more lights than ever this year.”