Video: Crowds enjoy Harpenden Christmas Carnival and lights Switch-On

PUBLISHED: 17:01 23 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

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HARPENDEN S Christmas Carnival and lights switch-on provided a spectacular show of festive fun which brought the whole town together last Sunday. Despite the deluge earlier in the day, by the afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shining, with j

HARPENDEN'S Christmas Carnival and lights switch-on provided a spectacular show of festive fun which brought the whole town together last Sunday.

Despite the deluge earlier in the day, by the afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shining, with just the right amount of chill to set the mood for the season.

With stalls and fairground attractions running the length of the High Street and around the green, and a Heart FM stage presenting performances from local talent throughout the afternoon, the holiday atmosphere was well underway by the time the carnival parade arrived at just after 3pm.

Led by the Mayor, Cllr Rosemary Farmer, in a semi-state coach provided by Priory Carriages of Bloomfield Road, the carnival included representatives from Harpenden scout and guide groups, majorettes, fire fighters, nurseries and the stars of the Alban Arena's panto, The Little Mermaid, with Father Christmas bringing up the rear and Harpenden Rotary Club collecting spare change from onlookers along the route.

Elsewhere in the town, visitors and residents chanced their luck with competitions run by local charities, and the queues to meet Father Christmas in his grotto stretched down Thompsons Close and into the High Street.

The afternoon also included a seasonal farmers' market, with plenty of bargains to be had for Christmas, including homemade cranberry sauce, assorted fresh poultry and an array of cheeses. Locally-based folk group English Miscellany were also on hand to sing carols garbed in traditional Victorian costumes.

The countdown to the Christmas lights started at 5pm, with the honour of pulling the lever going to Lucy Porter, aged 10, from Grove Junior School, who was joined by the Mayor on stage for the big switch-on, which was followed by an unexpected flurry of white from two snow machines either side of the stage.

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