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Friday, 25 July 2014

Dalton Christmas lights switch-on

DALTON was transformed into a winter wonderland at the Christmas parade and lights switch-on, sponsored by the Evening Mail, as a real snow storm arrived just in time for the festivities.

From the fantastic parade along Market Street, to the traditional hog roast finish, Sunday’s parade meant it really was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Thousands of revelers braved the icy temperatures to gather in Tudor Square for the start of the parade.

But it was only when the camels arrived that the excitement levels went through the roof.

Led by the Dalton Town Band, “Mary” trotted up Market Street on a donkey, followed by three wise men on camels – a truly remarkable sight to behold.

All the residents of Market Street joined in the festive spirit too, displaying small Christmas trees, which were donated by Dalton and Newton Town Council, in their front gardens, complete with fantastic fairy lights. The parade then finished at Market Place, where everyone gathered to witness the big light switch-on.

Two-year-old Mia Mossop had the honour of switching on the lights, ably assisted by granddad Councillor Martin McLeavy, the mayor of Dalton.

As the masses gazed at the now-illuminated Christmas tree, they were doused with fake snow from a snow machine. But the real thing wasn’t far behind as a fresh blanket of snow covered Dalton shortly after the parade had finished.

Unfortunately the camels visit was cut short as the blizzard conditions meant they had to be on their way back to Staffordshire as soon as possible.
Cllr McLeavy said: “It was a fantastic evening.

“Dalton has shone through again with its festivities. Sunday’s parade was a big success down to the hard work of all the organisers, with a special mention to Reverend Alan Mitchell.

“Everybody did a great job. The people make an event and the turn out from everyone was superb.”

Vhaid Mushtaq, of Market Place, Dalton, said: “We’re new to the area and I was pretty chuffed with the parade and light switch-on. There was a nice family
atmosphere throughout the whole evening. It was a great community event and I’m sure everyone is now in the mood for Christmas.”

Gemma Lancaster, 10, of Ashworth Street, Dalton, was at the parade with mum Debbie. She said: “It is brilliant ever year. It was really exciting with the camels walking through the streets.”

Her mum added: “There was a great turn out and the decorated children’s umbrellas and lanterns were fantastic.”

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