Bakewell launches festive countdown

Christmas Lights: Special guests Tigger and Mickey Mouse officially turn on the Christmas lights in Bakewell.
Christmas Lights: Special guests Tigger and Mickey Mouse officially turn on the Christmas lights in Bakewell.

BAKEWELL was transformed into a winter wonderland at the weekend as the town flicked the switch to begin their own countdown to Christmas.

The twinkling of festive fairy lights sparked into life on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of onlookers lined the streets to cheer.

Christmas Lights: Festive lanterns from the Babbling Vagabonds lit up Bath Gardens as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Christmas Lights: Festive lanterns from the Babbling Vagabonds lit up Bath Gardens as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

It was the first time the event was spread across the weekend and was also designed to give local traders a much-needed boost.

There were lantern-making workshops, Santa’s grotto, a live nativity, a Christmas market, hot horse chestnuts, mulled wine, a hog roast and barbecue, all enjoyed to a soundtrack of Yuletide classics performed by the Bakewell Silver Band and by local carol singers.

Other attractions included face painting, a beer festival, and Edwardian and Victorian fashion show, guided tours of the town and even a Michael Buble tribute act.

Mickey Mouse and Tigger were also on hand to turn on the tree lights in Bath Gardens at 4pm Saturday.

Christmas Lights: Two-and-a-half month old Ruby-Grace Hall of Chesterfield keeps herself warm with some pink rabbit ears as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Christmas Lights: Two-and-a-half month old Ruby-Grace Hall of Chesterfield keeps herself warm with some pink rabbit ears as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Sue Smethurst, who took on the task of organising the weekend- on which she started planning since July- was thrilled with the outcome.

She said: “There have been Christmas event sin the past in Bakewell, but not on this scale.

“The traders are struggling and shops are closing and I just thought it would be good to get people back into the town. From what people have told me, it went very well.

The streets were heaving and shopkeepers have told me they did a roaring trade.

Christmas Lights: Bakewell Silver Band played a variety of carols as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Christmas Lights: Bakewell Silver Band played a variety of carols as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

“I’ve had emails from traders saying they had a bumper weekend.

“It was brilliant, everybody got involved and pulled together to help make this what it was.

“The atmosphere was the main thing and it was just buzzing.”

Asked if she would repeat the event next year, Sue answered: “I don’t think we would dare not do it again!”

Christmas Lights: Stalls sell mulled wine as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Christmas Lights: Stalls sell mulled wine as the Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Christmas Lights: The Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.

Christmas Lights: The Christmas lights are switched on in Bakewell.