Santa has arrived in Devizes, and on Friday evening he switched on the Christmas lights to a great "ahhhh ohhhhh" from the crowds who had gathered in the Market Place to welcome in the festive season. Santa appears in his bright red coat and long white beard every year on the balcony of "The Bear Hotel." I like to stand underneath, so that I can take some good photos of him doing his bit! This year a radio station had positioned its loudspeakers in that very spot, and I had to take photos whilst simultaneously blocking one ear with a finger! It was not very nice for the old eardrums I'm afraid. Fortunately this year, I didn't get stuck underneath the snow machine. A couple of years back, several of us became wedged under the machine in a "wall of human flesh," and when we finally managed to get out, we were covered from head to toe with white stuff. We knew then that winter had really arrived.
This one handed photo, (the other hand was over my ear) is a little blurred, but shows the Christmas tree in all her glory. The lights change colour every few seconds, here they are green/blue, but turn alternately to red/orange and white.
The fireworks went off with a bang and much screaming!
The lantern parade this year was bigger than ever, with hundreds of children and adults walking the half mile from the town centre to the Wharf, where they collected Santa and brought him back to the Market Place to light the lights. These two white horses were particulary beautiful, and so well made. Wiltshire is famous for its white horses, which are carved into the chalk hillsides outside many towns. Devizes has a famous "Millenium White Horse," cut into Roundway Down in year 2000. Every year white horses feature somewhere in the parade.