ANOTHER ‘brilliant spectacle’ is in store for Ilminster as the town’s famous Christmas lights and Victorian evening return to the town this week.

Ilminster’s excellent illuminations will be switched on this Friday (November 17) with the theme for the evening as Christmas Past, Present and Future.

However, there will be no ‘Bah, Humbug’ in Somerset as the creative shop window designs and magnificent streetlights will bring some light to the winter nights, with the evening festivities starting at 6pm ahead of the lantern parade at 6.30pm.

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People will then gather near the Market House for the official lights switch-on at 7pm.

Teams from the Christmas Lights Committee have been busy over the last three weeks putting up garlands throughout the town, and nearly 80 Christmas trees have been erected on shop fronts in the town centre, all adding to the sparkling spectacle.

Clinton Bonner, chairman of the Christmas Lights Committee, said: “This year we have spent more than £5,000 and this is made possible by many private donations which are really appreciated.

“In addition, two people have given money in memory of their loved ones who have passed away. This has helped us to provide two new display frames – one to go across the Market Square area and the other up on the corner of Silver Street.

“In addition, the frame at the gateway to Greenfylde School has been changed and will now feature a sleigh and reindeer for the children.

“We have also continued to fill in the corners on the Market House roof corners which has proved a little testing but we have got there.”

Shops in the town centre will be open from 6pm to 8.30pm and there will be stalls and outlets in the improved food court from 6pm.

In addition there will be three bands performing, giant puppets, a children’s fun fair and a new Christmas Market.

Mr Bonner added: “We think we have provided another brilliant spectacle for the town and we hope everyone has a magnificent evening.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the evening and to the Christmas street lights. It has been another busy year getting them ready.”

Phil Wyatt, president of Ilminster Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “The chamber sees it as one of the major events in Ilminster and more people attend each year.

“We certainly feel it projects Ilminster as a busy and attractive trading town and it draws in many visitors during the Christmas period.”

And it is not too late to get involved as a marshal or steward for the evening’s events. For more, contact Mike Fry-Foley on 01460 54364.