By Betsy Everett
Fireworks, a visit from Santa, party games, and carols from the Hawes Silver Band marked the big switch-on of the Christmas lights in the Dales market town recently.
Children from the surrounding area packed the Market House for the festive celebrations with Colin Bailey organising the games and Jack Baldwin on the turntable for statues and musical chairs.
The band played carols in the market place to welcome the arrival of Father Christmas in the midst of a spectacular fireworks display.
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The traditional Wensleydale’s Got Talent contest was the climax of the day with Jack as master of ceremonies and while the judges made their choice Colin Bailey’s BlueBoxt productions and members of the Musical Theatre Project presented a programme of well-known songs and festive favourites demonstrating their achievements during 2017. Winner of the contest was Harvey Boddy, who was also appearing in the pantomime, Esme Kirkbride was second and Macy Kerr came third.
All the money raised is spent on the Christmas lights throughout Hawes and this year a new display across Duerley Beck, visible from the bridge, pays tribute to the memory of Mel Dinsdale, former Santa and helper, who died this year.