THOUSANDS flocked into Littlehampton’s High Street to mark the start of the town’s festive season and witness the Christmas lights being switched on.
And as this year’s bonanza kicked-off on Friday evening (November 29), there was an extra-special present for one Littlehampton boy, who was the guest of honour at the event.
Reece Newman, 12, was invited by organisers to press the plunger turning on the illuminations. He was the first resident in the town to have been given the honour.
The year-seven student at The Littlehampton Academy said it was ‘quite the surprise’, explaining: “I switched on the Christmas lights and it actually felt pretty good. I was a little bit nervous.
“The teacher told me it was on Friday and I was like, I can’t believe it!’. It was quite the surprise.”
He added: “It was pretty scary and I was afraid, but I got through it and it felt really cool. I feel like a very special person.”
Reece was joined on centre stage by Littlehampton mayor Joyce Bowyer and characters from Worthing Theatre’s latest production, Santa Claus the Musical.
Joyce admitted on the night that she thought it was one of the most well-attended Christmas lights evening the town had ever known.
Attractions were just as magical as the illuminations of the town, with everything from horse-drawn carriage rides on ‘reindeers’ Rudolph and Prancer, to special sales in The Arcade, puppet shows, mulled wine tasters and roasted chestnuts.
The evening was also jam-packed with live performances, from Christmas classics and uplifting ballads by the local Rock Choir to tunes from charitable rockers The Nuts.
Traders in the town revelled in the boost, opening their stores late into the evening, which was organised by Littlehampton Town Council in conjunction with the Littlehampton Traders’ Partnership.
Lights were also illuminated on Thursday evening, at the Wickbourne Centre, in Clun Road, Wick.