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Lightsfest 2014

December 6, 2014

It’s incredible to think that we’ve just had the sixth Lightsfest – and we have to say that West Didsbury is looking very, very festive. Not only do we have the streetlights and the Xmas tree lights (and, after an emergency visit from the cherry-picker and re-stringing, the lights are good this year!), but our independent businesses have certainly entered into the festive spirit, helping to make West Didsbury twinkle…

The weather was kind to us this year – Thursday night was cold, but dry and people wrapped up warm and came out in droves for the event. The children from Cavendish Primary & Lancasterian sang their hearts out, ably assisted by the wonderful Nicky McCallan, who has become the official Lightsfest MC – we’re delighted to have him as part of the team 😉 Joining us also on the evening – and it was touch & go, as he is SO busy at this time of year – was Father Christmas himself. He ho-ho-ho-ed all the way through the event and chatted to our younger visitors, making sure that they had been good children and ensuring that all present requests were on his list. Our usual photographer, Jonny Draper, although at the event, was occupied with *other* duties – ho, ho, ho – and so West Didsbury local, Stephen Macgowan, who photographed WestFest14, did the honours.

Our guest switcher-on-er was Sam Walker, presenter on Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester, and a girl with roots in West Didsbury. We’d like to say a very big thank you to Sam – she’s the latest in a growing list of people who we’re delighted have been a part of our West Didsbury event. (Dave Haslam, Clint Boon, Simon Rimmer, Andrew Steele & Diane Modahl and Sue Cleaver).

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

As well as the festivities at the actual switch-on, many of our independent businesses were buzzing afterwards. Thyme Out Delicatessen, on Nell Lane, hosted an “after-party” with complimentary canapes, mulled wine and live music. The Epicurean hosted a BBQ and had the very Christmassy Stretford Brass Band entertaining everyone. There was live music at The Violet Hour and a winter BBQ at Folk.

The draw was done for the Andy Burgess owl – all other prizes will be drawn over the weekend, with winners being notified on Monday. One of the children at the switch-on pulled the ticket from the bag and the winner of the owl was… Justin Parkinson from Folk! Pop into Folk and you might see a new addition to the bar 😉

Stephen McGowan Photography

Stephen McGowan Photography

Huge thanks must go to the following, without whom the event would not have been possible – staff and children from Cavendish Primary School & Lancasterian School, Sam Walker, Jonny Draper, Nicky McCallan, Stephen McGowan, The West Didsbury Club, The Flower Lounge, GMP Didsbury, the high-vis jacket brigade (Pete, Simon, Si, John, Sian & Steve), The Epicurean & Reserve Wines, Clare Seddon Howarth, Andy Burgess, the West Didsbury independent businesses, every one who attended and last but not least, Katie from WDRA, without whom I would go mad 😉

Photography by Didsbury Life

Photography by Didsbury Life

Photography by Didsbury Life

Photography by Didsbury Life

Happy Christmas – and see you at LightsFest15!

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