AN ACTOR from Taunton will attend this year’s Ilminster Christmas Lights switch-on event, which will also see the return of the large Christmas tree.

James Purefoy “has kindly offered to do the honours,” the Ilminster Christmas Lights Committee said, and will be at the event on Friday, November 24.

The committee also added this year’s switch-on will feature the large Christmas tree “that has not been seen for around 20 years”.

Matt Sainsbury, from the Ilminster Christmas Lights Committee, said: “This year we are re-introducing the large Christmas Tree in the town centre that has not been seen for around 20 years.

“It was removed back around 2003 due to continued vandalism. We have had many discussions around it and this year sees its return at around 20 feet tall and fully illuminated, it should add something extra to the town centre.

Chard & Ilminster News: The Christmas Lights in Ilminster last yearThe Christmas Lights in Ilminster last year (Image: Newsquest)

“Along with this there has again this year been much spent on improvements and additions to the town's lights, which should see new lights in the Swan Precinct, Around the Market House, and along Silver Street and Minster church.

“All the small trees on the shops’ fronts will also be having new brighter lights to compliment the street garlands.

“As with previous years, all lights will be controlled via Wifi Smart Timers meaning we can only put them on when needed, reducing our Carbon Footprint. All new additions are eco-friendly low-power LED lights.

“The switch on itself will take place on the stage, which will be on the west side of the square this year for the first time.

“Prior to the switch on will be live music, Puppet Show, School Choirs, and then of course the Lantern Parade through the town, led by Father Christmas & Ilminster Majorettes.

“The magic moment will be in the hand of actor James Purefoy, who has kindly offered to do the honours alongside the MC DJ Ginge.

“We continue to raise money throughout the year as the lights in Ilminster are paid for via donations and erected by volunteers.

“There will be a coffee morning in the square in late October to advertise the date, raise funds and hopefully attract a few more volunteers.”

The Ilminster Christmas Lights event will take place on Friday, November 24.
Event times: 5pm-9pm