Father Christmas draws the crowds as Thame lights up for the festive season

Crowds at the lights switch on in Thame
Crowds at the lights switch on in Thame

Thame was sparkling when hundreds of people gathered in the town centre to welcome in the festive season in style.

Thame hosted its annual Christmas lights switch-on event on Friday, November 30 with a range of festive stalls, tasty food, attractions and entertainment.

Father Christmas made the special journey with two of his adorable reindeers to take up residence in his grotto and wish the people of Thame a Merry Christmas. There were some fantastic festive photo opportunities with Rapunzel and Tinkerbell and the human-sized snow globe.

A spokeswoman for Thame Town Council said: “An impressive line-up of entertainment saw dazzling dancers, spectacular soloists and captivating choirs perform throughout the evening. Stalls lined the High Street offering an abundance of scrumptious street food and gorgeous gifts, and some of our independent shops stayed open late – many of them are also staying open late on Thursdays throughout December so do come and support them by shopping locally this year.

“The annual lantern parade, featuring beautifully hand-made willow lanterns courtesy of Thame’s Primary Schools, was made extra special this year as the reindeer led the parade, with thanks to the Thame Air Cadets for their operational support.”

Crowds then gathered around the tree to hear Rev Rachel Cross’ Christmas Blessing and the winner of the town trail was announced by the Mayor of Thame. Well done to 7-year-old Lacey Rose Chegwin who was chosen as the winner and received four tickets to Thame Player’s panto this year.

The runners up, Harry Petheram, Henry Humphrey, Florence Rayner and Kate Gossage, received an iced chocolate lollipop courtesy of Rumsey’s.

Father Christmas arrived on his sleigh and once on the podium, the much awaited countdown began for the switch-on. As Lacey Rose and the Mayor pushed the plunger on the lights, the crowds cheered and the town centre sparkled. Thame Concert Band accompanied the community carol singing to round off a wonderful evening.

The spokeswoman added: “Thank you to ASM Auto Recycling for donating the tree, CALA Homes for sponsoring Santa’s Grotto and to our event sponsors: Kubota, Connect Scaffolding, Lucy Electric, Risborough Carers, JJ Plumbing & Heating, 3B Vehicle Hire & Servicing, Fisher German and Thame & District Housing Association, and all of our sponsors and supporters this year.

“The event simply wouldn’t be possible without the generous support we receive from local businesses and the community. The Town Council wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

“We always strive to improve this event for everyone involved and this year we are running a survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T2M5679. Please spare five minutes to give us your feedback.”