Lights, more lights, even more lights... action! Boston's Christmas cracker
If you were in Boston yesterday, any time from noon onwards, you'd have been aware of the Christmas countdown clock striking loud and proud.
The highlight was, of course, this year's Christmas lights switch-on... unless you were one of the hundreds involved with the third Illuminate Parade through town.
The festive displays - extra lights including blinged Five Lamps, a new position in the Market Place for the main Christmas tree, additional decorated trees in and around town, a nativity scene and memorial lanterns - were voted a success by organisers.
There were many cherries on the top of this particular iced Christmas cake - the Christmas Market opened at noon by the Mayor, Cllr Bernard Rush, and his accompanying choir, free entertainment in the Market Place from 4pm, Santa in his grotto in the Stump, a free Christmas lights show by Pescod Square and Oldrids and the Illuminate parade from Central Park. What was not to like?
And to help all enjoy the festivities Hoppers Jewellers sponsored free parking from 4pm in all Boston Borough Council-run car parks.
The new display of lights was provided thanks to the volunteer group Christmas in Boston and Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC). BTAC laid down the challenge for a community effort to help improve the Christmas offer in Boston when austerity measures meant the borough council could no longer afford the cost.
The group formed and set about generating support, bolstered by a commitment from BTAC to match fund , pound for pound, anything they raised up to a maximum of £10,000. They claimed the £10,000, raising a total of more than £25,000.
Cllr Nigel Welton, chairman of BTAC, was on stage for the lights switch-on by the three age-group winners of a poetry competition "Boston, Christmas and Me". All schools in the borough were invited to submit poems and the three winners, Caitlin Grant, Evie Gilby and Hannah Woods were found from among 509 entries. Winning three poems are in the link below.
Cllr Welton said: "What a turnout and what an event. It's all come together incredibly well. I have been so impressed by the way all involved have rallied to this cause. All credit to the Christmas in Boston group and the tremendous community support they have had."
Dylan Taylor, Chairman of Christmas in Boston, said: "I am pleased and proud. We couldn't have done it without the help we have received - from the county and borough councils, businesses, from people with skills who have freely given of their expertise and time and from members of the public who have contributed."
He praised his Christmas in Boston volunteer colleagues, raising a cheer from the crowd for each one individually named.
The third Illuminate Parade set off from Central Park, with more than 200, mainly children, carrying the lanterns they had made to mark the story of the Pilgrims and Boston's part in the historic events leading to the European settlement of America and the founding of Boston, Massachusetts. The annual Illuminate Parades will build up to international celebrations in 2020 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.
The theme this year was hope (the hopes of the Pilgrims aiming for a new life in the New World) and betrayal (they were double crossed by a ship's captain at Scotia Creek near Fishtoft, arrested for attempting to leave the country without royal approval and locked up in the cells at Boston Guildhall to await trial). Captain Betrayal and the fair maiden Hope were represented by stilt-walking giants.
Children carried illuminated candles, boats, fish and birds, swarming round a centrepiece representing the Speedwell - one of the ships used by the Pilgrims who eventually landed in America after their spell in Boston's Guildhall cells.
After the main town lights had been switched on it was round to Pescod Square for its lights switch-on as part of a joint Christmas show with Oldrids. From 5pm there had been a programme of free entertainment.
And it's not over yet. There will be a Festive Market on Sunday, December 17, from 9.30am to 2.30pm in the Market Place, with visits from the Ice Queen and Jack Frost together with a free showing in the afternoon in the Stump of the festive family favourite film Elf.
More pictures available on our Facebook page Boston Borough Council
|[3Mb]||Winning poems||Winning poems|
The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.