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Westgate-on-Sea festive switch-on and fair saved after fears there would be no Christmas lights

When the organisers of the popular Westgate-on-Sea switch-on event found their lights broken, they thought there would be no sparkle in the town this Christmas.

But thanks to a community effort - and help from a number of businesses - the event, which attracts hundreds of people each year, is ready to twinkle on December 1.

The Westgate Christmas Lights committee. Left to right: Mikala Morgan and Karen May, from Estrella Events, Jeanette Bell from Budget Bazaar, Michael Davis from MD Electrical, Christine Taylor, Ray Taylor From Fixology and Paul Glicko from Paul's Bistro
The Westgate Christmas Lights committee. Left to right: Mikala Morgan and Karen May, from Estrella Events, Jeanette Bell from Budget Bazaar, Michael Davis from MD Electrical, Christine Taylor, Ray Taylor From Fixology and Paul Glicko from Paul's Bistro

Karen May, who is on the Westgate Christmas Lights Committee and co-runs Estrella Events, says it is a huge relief after they found themselves unable to afford to get the lights repaired.

"We are really pleased to say they have been fixed," she said.

"They are not perfect, but the majority of them are working - after they were switched on and we had none at all, this is a huge relief.

"We feared there would be no lights to switch on at the Christmas fair.

"But Paul Glicko, the owner of Paul's Bistro, heard our worries and stepped up by approaching Michael Davis from MD Electrical services and asked him to come and fix our lights.

The Westgate Christmas fair and switch-on regularly attracts hundreds of people (21914982)
The Westgate Christmas fair and switch-on regularly attracts hundreds of people (21914982)

"This at minimal cost. They have saved the day."

Ms May says next year they will fundraise to replace the lights that can't be fixed.

She says the committee is made up of volunteers who work hard all year to put the fair on for the community.

"It was a real worry when we didn't think we'd have any lights," she said.

Lorraine and Richard Hambridge, who were voted as local heroes who go above and beyond for Westgate, will be switching on the lights at 4.30pm.

Runner-up Wilfred Jenkins will be Santa's guardian escorting him in the parade to the grotto at 12.30pm.

The Light Up Westgate event runs from 11am to 5pm in Station Road, with a parade, rides, live music and Santa's grotto.

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