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Crowds flock to switch-on


Hundreds of Ollerton residents got into the festive mood when Jack Frost arrived in the town on Friday to lead the Christmas celebrations.

The day included a craft market on Sherwood Drive, with clowns, jugglers, face painting and balloon modelling to entertain the children.

Walk The Plank, a professional company that organised the closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, provided the parade along Forest Road, which led to the switch-on.

The procession included 50 drummers, and children from Forest View junior and Ollerton primary schools carrying lanterns that they had made.

Jack Frost and the Snow Queen, both on stilts and wearing eye-catching costumes, appeared around 4.30pm when the parade made its way to the stage.

An ice rink opened, first for schoolchildren in the Life Spring Church carpark and then for the public at 4pm.

A fun fair, usually held on Sherwood Drive, was relocated to the former Courtaulds factory site on Rufford Avenue.

The lights were switched on by the Mayor of Ollerton and Boughton, Mr Terry Bell, along with the winners of the mayor’s annual Christmas card competition.

The overall winner was Emily Hobday (10) of Forest View, school whose design featured a nativity scene.

It will be used on the mayor’s official Christmas card this year.

Runners-up were fellow Forest View pupils Matthew Gardiner (10) and Jacey Peacock (8) and Bethany Rose Musgrave (5) of Maun Infants’ School.

The priest-in-charge of Ollerton and Boughton, Canon Richard Kirton, gave the Christmas address.

Aaron Godfrey-Mayes (12) of Stubton Road, Claypole, sang Walking in the Air from The Snowman.

Before and after the switch- on the Dukeries Community Band performed, accompanied by children from Ollerton primary who sang carols.

Soloist Julija Pocema (16) of Brisbane Court, Balderton, then performed Silent Night in English, Polish and Russian, before the Elements dance group from the Ollerton Youth Project performed on stage.

The acting town clerk, Mrs Karen Wakefield, said she felt the slightly different format had worked well but it was for the council members to decide whether it would continue in future years.

She said: “The parade was lovely and having the entertainers on the street worked really well.”

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