PICTURES: Wet weather not enough to deter Diss residents at annual switch-on

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123602005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123602005

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Wild weather could not keep the crowds away from the Diss Christmas lights switch-on and St Nicholas’ Fayre on Saturday.

Although it was wet and cold, about 5,000 people still turned out for the switch on by panto star Ben Langley, who plays Muddles the goatherd in Snow White at the Norwich Theatre Royal, and the day’s entertainment.

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123613005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123613005

The fun clearly took minds off the wind and rain, and shop tills jingled along with the traditional Christmas bells.

Peter Hyde, of the Heritage Triangle Traders, said: “It was a really good day for the independent shops and cafes with several reporting their best Saturday trading of the year.”

And Chris Billson, store director at Beales in the Market Place, said: “Brilliant. I was really pleased to see Diss turn out to support the St Nicholas’ Fayre despite the blustery weather. Being at the heart of the Market Place, it was great to see the town come together and have a great deal of fun.

“Congratulations to everyone who organised the day and long may they continue.”

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123624005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123624005

Diss mayor Julian Mason added: “There was an excellent turnout despite the weather and a great atmosphere. Huge thanks to the Christmas Lights Committee for their continued efforts to put on a great show.”

Although some of the performers had to pull out for family and health reasons, others stood in at late notice and the Diss Junior School Choir, Pennyless Goats, Twisted Piglet, Robert Payne and Mode provided full programme of entertainment.

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123635005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123635005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123646005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123646005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123657005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123657005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Band 'Modes' play to the crowd. ANL-151129-123708005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Band 'Modes' play to the crowd. ANL-151129-123708005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Band 'Modes' play to the crowd. ANL-151129-123719005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Band 'Modes' play to the crowd. ANL-151129-123719005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Ben Langley who is in panto at the  Theatre Royal swtiches the lights on. ANL-151129-123730005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Ben Langley who is in panto at the Theatre Royal swtiches the lights on. ANL-151129-123730005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Ben Langley who is in panto at the  Theatre Royal swtiches the lights on. ANL-151129-123741005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. Ben Langley who is in panto at the Theatre Royal swtiches the lights on. ANL-151129-123741005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123752005

Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On. ANL-151129-123752005