Although it’s only November the spirit of Christmas is definitely here, with the Bournemouth Christmas lights switch on, that happened this Sunday at 5pm in the Bournemouth square.
As I walked towards the town for the big Christmas lights switch on, I had to fight my way through the hundreds of people that populated the town square. The noise of excited children, EastEnders fans and general Christmas lovers surrounded me as they waited, with enthusiasm to see the big switch on and ‘semi-official’ Christmas countdown.
The switch on was hosted by Welshy from JACK FM radio and included celebrity appearances from EastEnders actor (Jack) Scott Maslen and Bobby Crush, who are also appearing in the pantomime Aladdin at the Pavilion Theatre. The event began with a countdown, with everyone joining in, and then the lights were turned on, in sync with fireworks and a Christmas song.
Over the crowd of bobbing heads I could see the town’s decorations As I smelt the roasted chestnuts and looked up to see the town shining with Christmas decorations and a few animatronic Santa’s sliding up and down a street lamp and unicycling across telephone wires, I felt as though Christmas is on its way.
After the hype of the lights switching on, a celebrity appearance and the short burst of fireworks, the people emptied the streets to go to their warm homes, leaving me to see the German market in all its glory. The row of quaint wooden huts all selling Christmas trinkets, such as snow globes, jewellery and the essential Christmas jumpers, all great and quirky presents for those people who seem to have everything.
To lengthen this festive family experience, Bournemouth is putting on the Garden of light in its grade 2 listed gardens. I went there and was overwhelmed by the amount of effort that had gone into it. The FREE interactive light pods, open from 10am to 9.45pm, and shine from a far, attracting people of all ages to go and play. One theme was a pod full of spinning disco balls, another idea was a pod set out as a kitchen, where children could crawl through the cupboard past a jungle-esque room and out into the que for Santa’s grotto. As no Christmas fair would be complete without a charming Santa’s grotto and a big ice rink, as well as an alpine bar, to finish the Lapland experience, and allow the big kids a bit of enjoyment too.
All of these spectacles will be open until the 6th January (apart from the 25th December), so that we all have time to visit and get into the festive spirit.