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Pictures from Sheerness lantern parade and Christmas lights


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Organisers prayed for fine weather for the Sheerness fun day and that's what got.

Despite heavy rain early in the morning, the sun came out for the rest of the day.

Whitstable samba band Pelo Mar led the lantern parade through Sheerness High Street on Saturday
Whitstable samba band Pelo Mar led the lantern parade through Sheerness High Street on Saturday
Whitstable samba band Pelo Mar led the lantern parade through Sheerness High Street on Saturday
Whitstable samba band Pelo Mar led the lantern parade through Sheerness High Street on Saturday
More than 200 people joined in the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 people joined in the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 lights were made for the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 lights were made for the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 lights including this 'jelly fish' were made for the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 lights including this 'jelly fish' were made for the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 lights were made for the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
More than 200 lights were made for the Sheerness lantern parade on Saturday
Tim Bell's snow-spewing musical illuminated helicopter and his two Santa helpers proved a big hit with the crowd
Tim Bell's snow-spewing musical illuminated helicopter and his two Santa helpers proved a big hit with the crowd

Phil Crowder, who chairs the Sheerness Town Team, said: "It was very cold but it was lovely to see so many people supporting their town. And the performers warmed up the crowd. It was a great day all round."

One of the surprise hits at the not-the-clock tower stage hosted by Sheppey FM was veteran stuntman William Wallace, 74, and his Bonkers Bike Challenge.

Volunteers plucked from the audience were asked to ride his "impossible bike" after he demonstrated how to do it across the cobbles. But no one was able to complete the short course.

Beckie Breiner’s song-signing choir went down a storm singing Christmas hits, fresh from a successful fund-raising concert at Minster Working Men's Club the previous evening.

They were followed by the Jo Eden Blues Band featuring Jo on vocals, Jeremy Thornton on rhythm guitar and harmonic, Kerry Little on lead guitar, Ryan Sams on drums and Trevor Taylor on bass. Trevor was in hit 1970s band Paper Lace who had a number one with Billy Don’t Be A Hero in the UK and The Night Chicago Died in the USA.

The Jo Eden Blues Band performing on the not-the-clock tower stage. They comprise Jo on vocals, Jeremy Thornton on rhythm guitar and harmonica, Ryan Sams on drums, Kerry Little on lead guitar and Trevor Taylor on bass.Trevor played with Paper Lace in the 1970s who had hits with Billy Don't Be A Hero and The Night Chicago Died
The Jo Eden Blues Band performing on the not-the-clock tower stage. They comprise Jo on vocals, Jeremy Thornton on rhythm guitar and harmonica, Ryan Sams on drums, Kerry Little on lead guitar and Trevor Taylor on bass.Trevor played with Paper Lace in the 1970s who had hits with Billy Don't Be A Hero and The Night Chicago Died
Sittingbourne mum Beckie Breiner's song-signing choir proved a hit with the crowd
Sittingbourne mum Beckie Breiner's song-signing choir proved a hit with the crowd
Bonjovi entertaining at the not-the-clock tower stage in Sheerness before the lantern parade on Saturday
Bonjovi entertaining at the not-the-clock tower stage in Sheerness before the lantern parade on Saturday
Volunteers attempted veteran stuntman William Wallace's Bonkers Bike Challenge
Volunteers attempted veteran stuntman William Wallace's Bonkers Bike Challenge

Steve Harding, Geof Reed and veteran drummer Jim Enright, 88, performed as Banjovi but the 2AM duo featuring Mick Kenten and Ariel Scott had to bow out with sickness. All entertainers gave their time for free.

Sheerness Town Council staged other attractions in Beachfields near McDonald's with Circo Rum Baba, face-painting and Swale council's Santa post train which proved popular with youngsters.

Stilt-walking juggler Allan Swan from Juggle It All later joined the lantern parade organised by Chris Reed of Big Fish Arts.

More than 350 paper lanterns with electric lights had been made during free community workshops in Sheerness library and sessions with West Minster, Rose Street and St Edward's primary school pupils plus 8th Sheppey Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

By the time it was dark enough for the parade the town's new £18,000 Christmas lights, paid for by the town council, were already on. For the first time for years, they now stretch along the full length of the High Street and Broadway.

Everything was up in the air for stilt-walking juggler Allan Swan of Juggle It All at Beachfields. He later took part in the Sheerness lantern parade
Everything was up in the air for stilt-walking juggler Allan Swan of Juggle It All at Beachfields. He later took part in the Sheerness lantern parade
Little Carter Stevens, 3, of Minster, couldn't wait to post his letter to Santa on the special mail train parked in Beachfields
Little Carter Stevens, 3, of Minster, couldn't wait to post his letter to Santa on the special mail train parked in Beachfields
The Santa Special mail train at Beachfields, Sheerness, with one of Santa's not-so-little helpers
The Santa Special mail train at Beachfields, Sheerness, with one of Santa's not-so-little helpers

The parade was led by the Whitstable Pelo Mer samba band, paid for by the Sheerness Town Team, and also featured Tim Bell's snow-spewing illuminated helicopter built around an electric mobility scooter. Because the clock tower was away being repaired there was no official switch-on ceremony and last-minute attempts to get a large Christmas tree for the town centre failed.

But Mrs Reed, who was supported by Laurie Harpun and Jo Eden, said: "The parade was a great success. We must have had about 500 people." The parade was funded by Swale council.

Charity stalls and the Sheppey Community Support Bus were in the Broadway where community chefs Jason Hurren and Mike Spackman from Sheppey Matters handed out free hot chocolate and bowls of chilli.

Market stalls were set up in the High Street. Islander Jake O'Keeffe, who runs Lola-Bo which sells natural dog treats including deer legs, rabbit ears and pig snouts, said: "I liked the atmosphere. Last year I said the deer legs were reindeer hooves and did a roaring trade."

A sleigh of Santas led by the Sheppey Sea Cadets Band paraded through the town at 3pm thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotarians and led the crowd in carols and a Christmas conga.

The town's Specsavers store stepped in at the last minute to sponsor the Sheerness Town Team. It has offered £2,500 to support town events over the next year. Staff took a stall in the Broadway and gave away glow-in-the-dark glasses for youngsters in the lantern parade.

The Sheppey Sea Cadets Band led a 'sleigh' of Santas thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club
The Sheppey Sea Cadets Band led a 'sleigh' of Santas thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club
Just some of the many Santas who paraded through Sheerness thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club
Just some of the many Santas who paraded through Sheerness thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club
When Santa met The Grinch in Sheerness thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club. Picture: Henry Slack
When Santa met The Grinch in Sheerness thanks to Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club. Picture: Henry Slack
Community chefs Jason Hurren, left, and Mike Spackman from Sheppey Matters handed out free hot chocolate and bowls of chilli
Community chefs Jason Hurren, left, and Mike Spackman from Sheppey Matters handed out free hot chocolate and bowls of chilli
Mike Riley took along the Sheppey Community Support Bus and parked it in the Broadway
Mike Riley took along the Sheppey Community Support Bus and parked it in the Broadway
Hannah Kelly, left, and Charlotte Gough from Specsavers' Sheerness store were handing out free glow-in-the-dark glasses to children in the Broadway. The company is sponsoring the Sheerness Town Team which organised the event
Hannah Kelly, left, and Charlotte Gough from Specsavers' Sheerness store were handing out free glow-in-the-dark glasses to children in the Broadway. The company is sponsoring the Sheerness Town Team which organised the event
Islander Jake O'Keeffe and his son Oscar, 9, did a roaring trade selling 'reindeer legs' and pig snouts on their natural dog treat stall in Sheerness
Islander Jake O'Keeffe and his son Oscar, 9, did a roaring trade selling 'reindeer legs' and pig snouts on their natural dog treat stall in Sheerness
Actor Kevin 'Esra' Corcoran from London added a bit of drunken swagger to the Sheerness lantern parade
Actor Kevin 'Esra' Corcoran from London added a bit of drunken swagger to the Sheerness lantern parade
Chris Reed of Big Fish Arts organised the Sheerness lantern parade
Chris Reed of Big Fish Arts organised the Sheerness lantern parade
These two were handing out free samples from Gooey Delights which has recently opened in Sheerness Broadway
These two were handing out free samples from Gooey Delights which has recently opened in Sheerness Broadway
Reindeer at Rushenden Club proved a hit with visitors preparing for the Queenborough lantern parade on Sunday. Picture: Sandra Fowle
Reindeer at Rushenden Club proved a hit with visitors preparing for the Queenborough lantern parade on Sunday. Picture: Sandra Fowle

Queenborough’s own lantern parade took place on Sunday. The parade left King George’s Playing Field in Castlemere Avenue and Rushenden Club, which was hosting real reindeer, and ended with fireworks on the seafront. Queenborough Harbour also ran its craft market on the quay on Saturday and Sunday.

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