Electric evening for town at big lights switch-on

Belper Christmas lights switch on.
Belper Christmas lights switch on.

Christmas can officially get under way in Belper - after the button was pressed on the town’s festive lights display at a big switch-on event.

Hundreds turned-out to watch the Drop Inn’s Andrea Fox and BBC Radio Derby’s Andy Potter flick the switch in the town’s Memorial Gardens.

And to kick-off the celebrations, St Elizabeth’s School Choir sang some rousing carols, followed a performance by Tracey Wilkinson with the town’s new anthem, Song for Belper, which won a town council competition earlier this year.

On Sunday, a whole plethora a festive treats could be found at the town’s Christmas Food Fair - which saw King Street and Strutt Street lined with more than 80 stalls.

Mayor Deborah Biss said: “It was absolutely wonderful. In fact, the warmth and goodwill over the entire weekend was amazing.

“It just confirms Belper is a very special town and community.

“I was very proud to help turn on the lights and welcome everyone who attended.”

Shortly before the lights flickered into action in Belper, a big switch-on event was also held at Milford.

Cllr Biss continued: “The atmosphere was fantastic at Milford and was such a good opening to the festive season. The social club was open for mince pies and the school had an enterprise fair - where they were given £10 to make a profit for charity.

“There was also the Strutt’s Christmas Fair on Saturday. Volunteers at Strutts have achieved an incredible amount of late. Volunteering opens up a whole new world of friendships – and that’s been never more obvious than at Strutts.

“I was also really pleased to attend No28 to welcome a group of sponsored walkers - including a 78-year-old grandfather who had walked from Derby to raise money for SSAFA Forces Help - the charity that provides lifelong support for our Forces and their families.

“It was so amazing to see young and old people working hard to raise money for such an amazing charity.”