ARUNDEL was heaving with Christmas cheer on Saturday (December 7) as thousands flocked to the town to witness Arundel by Candlelight.
Organisers of this year’s event said it was by far the most well-attended yet, with many visitors to the town staying late into the night.
The High Street was packed with revellers, so much so that it even delayed the spectacular lantern parade through the town centre.
Jonathan Brantigan, deputy head of event organisers Arundel Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was brilliant. The town was heaving with visitors.
“It was easily the biggest Arundel by Candlelight yet. We knew it was going to be a big one when we looked out into the High Street, at about 2.30pm and saw crowds already stretching right up the street.
“This has been a definite boost for business. The economy is not as good as it could be, so to have visitors coming to the town, and staying late into the night, enjoying the shops, restaurants and pubs, is fantastic.”
This year’s event was sponsored by Jackson-Stops & Staff estate agents.
Dozens of children took part in a lantern-making workshop, at the Norfolk Hotel. Many of those then took part in the magical lantern procession, which marched down from the top of the High Street, to the Town Square.
Jonathan added the unprecedented scale of the festive event took them by surprise, causing some logistical shortcomings.
“I do know that the lantern workshop ran out of lanterns for the children,” he said. “So there were some disappointed children.”
Crowds massed to witness the Duchess of Norfolk press the plunger to switch on Arundel’s Christmas tree lights.
Other activities throughout the event included a visit from Father Christmas, who arrived by horse-drawn carriage.
He was handing out presents, supplied by the King’s Arms, to children in Tarrant Street.