10 ways for families to feel festive for free in Norfolk and Suffolk this weekend

PUBLISHED: 13:23 20 November 2017

Great Yarmouth's Christmas lights switch on event. Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth's Christmas lights switch on event. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

With just over a month to go to the big day, the Christmas lights are going on across Norfolk and Suffolk – and at each sparkling event over the weekend November 24-26, there is family fun for free

1 Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre was crowned the best in the UK by a public vote last year. The 2017 Fayre opens on Thursday, November 23, with a lantern parade from Abbeygate Street to Angel Hills, plus fireworks in the Abbey Gardens at 7.45pm. A free, drop-in lantern workshop runs from 3.15pm-4.30pm in the Arc shopping centre for children keen to take part in the parade.

Alongside 300-plus stalls there is street entertainment, music from church choirs, school bands and rock, jazz and folk groups, and free fun for children all weekend, including the chance to meet Santa’s reindeer and elves in the Abbey Gardens on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. In St John’s Street the Find a Star trail ends at a Nativity scene with real donkeys. The weekend finishes with a traditional carol concert on Angel Hill with music from the Salvation Army band, at 4pm on Sunday, November 26.

2 Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre runs from Friday, November 24 to Sunday November 26.

As well as craft, food and gifts stalls, the packed three-day programme of free entertainment includes choirs, bands, tribute groups and more in the Market Place. The Christmas lights switch on is at 6pm on Friday.

Nearby Gorleston Christmas lights switch-on is at 5pm on Sunday, November 26, on the High Street, followed by fireworks at 6pm.

3 Britain’s Got Talent star Matt Edwards will switch on the Stowmarket Christmas lights on Friday, November 24. The event begins at 6pm and includes stalls, live bands and Father Christmas.

4 The Sudbury Christmas fair and light switch-on starts at 5pm on Friday, November 24.

5 Aylsham Christmas lights fun begins at 5pm on Friday, November 24, with the switch-on at 6pm.

6 Head to Beccles town centre at 5.30pm on Friday, November 24 to enjoy an evening of festivities including stalls and entertainment and a new festive trail.

7 The big Diss switch-on is at 5.30pm on Saturday, November 25. Free entertainment from 3pm includes a magic show, school choirs, juggling and acrobatics, and funk, soul and pop band Grooveapolitan in Diss Market Place.

8 The Framlingham seasonal lights sparkle into life on Saturday, November 25. The traditional celebration event, from 5-6pm, on Market Hill, includes seasonal singing and the announcement of the winner of the festive window competition.

9 The King’s Lynn Christmas lights switch-on is an afternoon of festive fun from 12-4.30pm on Sunday, November 26.

Enjoy street entertainment across the town centre from noon, including the festive fairytale princesses starring in the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange pantomime. The main stage music begins at 3pm in the Tuesday Market Place, with the switch-on just after 4.30pm.

10 In Norwich the shimmering tunnel of light is a wonderful walkway in a city centre full of festive fun. And on Sunday, November 26, Father Christmas will be gliding through the city on a sleigh, accompanied by dancers, elves and friends from a festive wonderland. The parade gathers at 10.30am at the Forum and arrives at Jarrold at 11am.

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