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Wet weather didn’t deter strong crowds from turning out for the switch-on of Newport’s Christmas lights last Saturday, which was preceded by a festive carnival and a ‘Day of Christmas’.

Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council held their ‘Day of Christmas’ in St Thomas’ Square, which saw seasonal music being played by Medina Marching Band, Newport Primary School choir, Jukebox Jazz and Wight Satin. There were also appearances by characters from Disney’s Frozen and plenty of local stalls set up in the Minster, as well as a farmers market.

Father Christmas handed out over 200 presents to visiting children, who also enjoyed the shetland ponies on display from the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary.

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As the crowds gathered for the big switch on at 17:45, Abba tribute duo The Next Generation took to the outside stage in St Thomas’ Square alongside students from PJ’s School of Dance.

When darkness fell carnival floats gathered at Church Litten for the start of the annual Christmas Carnival. The parade made its way up South Street, Pyle Street and back down the length of the High Street to St Thomas’ Square for the switch-on, which was led by Pippa the Polar Bear from Robin Hill.


Paddy McHugh, Carnival Organiser, says:

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“I had a mission this year that the parade would lead into the Christmas light switch on to create more of a atmosphere, as in previous years the parade was held afterwards and people had already gone.

“We had some excellent sponsors all wanting to get on board and help in 2019 with excellent new banners and posters created by Shane Thornton of Wight Design and supplied by John Williams of Isle of Wight Websites. Other sponsors included MerrieBank Lettings, House of Nomad, Asda and Wight Building Materials.

“The parade saw Medina Marching Band, Vectis Corp Drums, the Isle of Wight Highland Pipes and Drums, Summerfield Primary, Hunnyhill Primary, Prices Garage, Sandown Queens, Ventnor Queens, the Isle of Wight Young Farmers Club, Newport Rainbows and Ventnor Free School all take part. A special thank you to Wight Ribbon for the beautiful vintage car that the Newport Queens travelled in.

“I was extremely pleased with the support from all the entries and especially the awesome support of the public that came out on the wet night – truly amazing!

“My aim is to build on this years success with bigger and better ideas for 2020”.

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Island Fool

Must spend, must spend, must force a smile, must force others to see I’m happy, must spend, must consume, must show I am a good parent, must spend.

No wonder the clement is f*****d.

None of this has anything to do with Christmas, it’s all been invented to make you spend.

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