An estimated 2,000 people enjoyed an evening of festive entertainment and fireworks in Richmond on Thursday, November 22 to mark the switching on of the 2018 Christmas lights.

Festivities began at lunchtime with a Frost Fair Market at the riverside selling locally made and ethically sourced crafts and foods. Then as nightfall arrived, children from St Richard’s and the Old Vicarage schools, led by Santa and elves, began a musical parade along the towpath from The Bingham hotel.

At the Frost Fair Market, the children sang to visitors before picking up a marching band and heading to the main stage in George Street where the entertainment was in full swing. Crowds were treated to Christmas songs by Marshgate School and a Richmond Corporate Choir.

Special guests included Harlequins players, cast members from Peter Pan at Richmond Theatre, stormtroopers, Richmond Mayor Ben Khosa and children’s favourite, Peppa Pig.

After a ‘mass festive floss’, the Christmas lights, which this year cover a much greater area of the town and include a special feature outside Richmond Station, were switched on by Peppa Pig.

Following the lights switch on, the crowds enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display on nearby Richmond Green.

The lights, the entertainment and the fireworks were all funded by Be Richmond (the brand ‘persona’ of Richmond BID), an alliance of businesses in Richmond town centre.

Erick Kervaon, Chairman of Be Richmond said: "We wanted to showcase the whole town and involve all parts of the business and residential communities. Richmond is a fantastic town with something for everybody. We hope that everyone had such a good time that they will make Richmond their first choice for shopping, relaxing and entertainment this Christmas."