Ilkeston - When The Lights Went On Again
w/e 22 November 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Lantern Parade

Lanterns outside the Town HallWork to erect Ilkeston's Christmas lights has been progressing on and off since October but final preparations were still being made right up to the official switching on ceremony on Friday 20th November. A number of other attractions were also arranged as part of the Erewash Festival of Light. Ilkeston Brass played for the entertainment of the crowd, a choir sang Christmas carols and songs and children paraded with hand made lanterns (above) from the Erewash Museum to outside the Town Hall (left). On the Lower Market Place were a number of charity stalls and only a few weeks after they were here for the Charter Fair, a number of fairground attractions returned for one night only.
Assembled Crowd

The lights were not being switched on until 7:30pm this year, about an hour later than in previous years, but a goodly number of people assembled early on the Market Place to join in the fun.
Santa's Grotto

Santa was on hand in his Grotto to greet youngsters, hear their wishes for Christmas and dish out early presents. A long queue of excited children and their parents formed to meet the great man.

To keep them entertained and amused whilst waiting their turn, a trio of singing and dancing snowmen performed at the side of the Grotto.

Other children not waiting to see Santa like the one seen here, seemed oblivious to all that was going on around them and were concentrating on recently acquired light sabres or flashing reindeer ears.
Town Hall

But at 7:30 on the dot all eyes turned towards the Town Hall which came alive in a blaze of lights.

I always thought that elves were little people but once the lights had been switched on, two of Santa's little helpers (who must have been away for a long stretch) appeared and traded high fives with children borne shoulder high and anyone else that could reach.
Christmas Tree

As people started to make their way home the fairground rides were still going strong as the charity stalls began to wind down and the street traders made one last attempt to sell their wares of flashing ears and light sabres. By the next day all evidence of their presence had disappeared but for the rest of the festive season the town will be brighter with all the decorations strung across the main streets and the colourful Christmas tree standing next to the War Memorial.

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