Cromer town displayed the familiar community spirit throughout a magical day, leading up to the big Christmas lights switch on, Saturday late afternoon.
The morning air was filled with festive song, resonating from speakers placed outside the Church, while stalls were being erected for a bustling street market.
The event started from the promenade when Santa arrived on his sleigh, where children, from Parallel Dance Studios performed well choreographed routines.
Santa left the pier at 11.15am and travelled through the town to the church, on route to his grotto in the Parish Hall with his elves.
Craft stalls and charitable organisations lined the hall, while officials and volunteers dressed in festive attire made sure everything ran smoothly.
Cromer Church was a hive of activity with Christmas fayre and trees from the previous festival still shining brightly along the pews. Cromer Church Gospel Choir gave an uplifting performance and Christine and John Drury provided superb vocals.
Traders in the town joined in with some impressive decorated shop windows and emphasised the unity that made the occasion so special.
By the time switch on neared, hundreds gathered outside the church to listen to Rev James Porter lead a carol service, accompanied by Sheringham Salvation Army Band. The evening included Marlene’s School of Dance and stilt walkers.
Five-year-old schoolgirl Metiya Nudchanad prepared to press the switch on button. The Suffield Park Infant School pupil won the chance to light up the town after winning in the annual Christmas tree poster competition.
She was joined on stage by fellow winners – eight-year-old Ella Harris, from St Mary’s School in Roughton, and Kieran Shapcott, aged 10, from Gresham Village School. Members of the Cromer Pier Christmas Show added extra sparkle.
Tony Shipp, one of the organisers on the Christmas lights committee, said “I think this must be one of the biggest crowds we’ve had, a fantastic turnout.
A silver bobble placed on the Christmas tree has been donated by the Briggs family in memory of Tony West, who was involved with so many events, including Children’s week at Cromer Carnival, before he passed away earlier this year.
The volunteers who put up the Christmas lights said they were truly grateful by the public’s response to this year’s effort, however, pointed out they are always looking for new people to join them.