Thousands turned out on a cold Sunday afternoon to watch the Colchester Christmas light switch on today hosted by Colchester Presents.
Long gone is the Christmas window display at former W&G department store, now named Fenwick. A change in tradition mainly due to the new layout of the Fenwick department store.
Carl Milton, Managing Director of Fenwick Colchester, who also chairs Colchester Presents said: “Following last year’s disappointing response to our window unveiling we are thrilled to be bringing something different and spectacular to this year’s celebrations to launch the Christmas season.”
Cllr. Darius Laws, Castle ward, said: “Colchester’s Old Town offers a great destination for Christmas shopping and merriment.”
“It is good to see retailers working together to make the most of the festive season. I am particularly excited at the chance to be able to take my son to meet santa in Colchester Castle.”
The festivities included Jump Street mini trampolines, singing elves, jazz music, choir singing and a video message from the cast of the Snow White panto.
There were mixed reactions from the crowds with many taking to social media after the event to comment.
Spectators watching the show commented it was an improvement on last years’s window display. A couple from Colchester were quoted as saying: “It’s OK for kids, but the event is really a big advertisement. ”
Parents reported their children were unable to see the stage on the High Street, however praised the few visible security staff in their attempts to prevent crowd crushing.
Others were not so happy, taking to Facebook to comment: “Xmas spirit is non existent… What a total let down. No celeb to push the button.”
There were others in attendance who enjoyed the show: “The choir in Culver Square was amazing.”
Fenwick showed a projected display featuring a “friendly dove” which began the countdown to the light switch on.
The committee for Colchester Presents includes Colchester Borough Council, Fenwick, Culver Square Shopping Centre and Colchester Lion Walk.