Thousands turn out for New Mills Christmas lights switch on
Huge crowds enjoyed the Christmas lights switch on in New Mills at the weekend as the event managed to dodge the worst of the day’s weather.
After a day of heavy rain on Saturday, the weather dried up just in time for the switch on which was enjoyed by thousands of people.
Sean Whewell, from Visit New Mills, which organised the event, said: “We thought it would be a washout when we were setting up but then as if by magic the rain stopped and people came in their thousands to have some Christmassy fun.
"This was the first big large-scale community event in the town for two years due to Covid and it was just so nice for me to see people back together, starting the festive fun.”
The lights switch on took place in the centre of town and between 5pm and 9pm there was a Christmas market with almost 50 stalls, Santa’s grotto, and street performances and fairground rides.
Sean said: “One of the best bits for me was the grotto which was organised by the children and volunteers of the youth group Youth Matters.
"They converted the alley off Market Street into a 20m long grotto, decorated it and dressed up as elves.
"It was so busy and Father Christmas himself said he had met with more than 200 children.”
The tree lights were switched on at the Prom at 6pm by a New Mills youngster who was delighted to push the button.
Sean said: “It’s amazing that switching on some lights can create such a focal point for the town.
"For the actual switch on there must have been hundreds gathered around the tree. It was just such a lovely moment.”
The cafes were full and so were the pubs and shops as families and friends came together to watch the stilt walkers, tap dancing turkeys, dance and theatre groups as well as the fire performers, New Mills Band, and the Rock Choir.
The switch on followed the makers market at Torr Vale Mill which Sean said had been organised to bring people into the town and provide a full day of activities.
He added: “Thank you to everyone who came out and made the switch on such a good event.”