GURKHA SQUARE KICKS OFF CHRISTMAS 2019
Wednesday 27th November saw the annual Fleet Christmas Festivities evening in town, with Fleet Road closed off to traffic as it filled with the usual array of market stalls, attractions and rides…well…ride.
The High Street bustled with busy crowds as the food and drink stalls were packed full to bursting on the lead up to the turning on of the Christmas lights, based in Gurkha Square. Children from local schools as well as the local pantomime cast all took to the stage to mark the start of Christmas 2019 in Fleet.
Below: Tavistock Infants perform on the main stage in Gurkha Square.
The main Gurkha Square entertainment finished in time for Santa’s arrival at 6.30pm, as he was welcomed on stage for the traditional light countdown and switch on. But what really goes into turning on the lights?
Spoiler alert…In reality the Christmas lights are activated by a number of volunteers all the way down Fleet Road who are given a ‘magic key’ to access the light switches, carefully concealed in lamp posts. The volunteers this year included Councillor Alan Hope and Councillor Sharyn Wheale, who activated the switches after the on stage countdown. Unfortunately there was a slight delay with the lights actually coming on…but they got there in the end! Take a look at the video for a behind the scenes sneak peek…
Below: Behind the scenes, what it actually takes to turn on the Fleet Christmas Lights!
Below: Fleet Town Councillor and UK Loony Leader Alan Hope prepares to help turn on the Christmas lights.
CROWDS FILL FLEET HIGH STREET
Overall it proved to be a very popular event as the evening, arranged by a team of volunteers, attracted a huge number of local people to the High Street and in the Hart Centre. Food and drink stalls were packed out while the children’s ride proved a very popular attraction. There were calls for more rides for the youngsters as there had been in previous years, as well as the return of the very popular and iconic big wheel..let’s keep our fingers crossed for next year.
Did you miss the evening? or fancy a recap? Then take a slightly sped up wander through the streets of Fleet…maybe you can spot yourself!
Below: Braving the crowds. A slightly sped up wander round Fleet High Street.
Below: The 2019 Christmas Tree and views from Fleet Road.
ELVIS BRINGS HART CENTRE TO LIFE
The Hart Centre looked as sparkly as ever and offered free mince pies and mulled wine for all. Stalls were lined up inside the centre, making use of empty shop fronts in a clever plan designed to make the most of every available space.
The main attraction though was undoubtedly the performance by our very own Elvis, playing in the old Cafe Giardino area on a stage truly fit for a King. The larger space proved to be a much better location for the event than the somewhat cramped area outside Waitrose, as large crowds of all ages gathered comfortably round the main ‘stage’ area to watch and sing along.
Dave aka Elvis was clearly moved by all the support and thanked the people of Fleet for their belief in him, especially when it was thought he was going to be sidelined this year for making too much noise(!). It was a brilliant show and the highlight of the evening for many.
Please excuse the blurry video quality (damn phone!) but hope you enjoy this clip of Elvis in the Hart Centre this year as he sings, thanks the people of Fleet and greets some of his many fans.
Below: Elvis in the Hart Centre – a stage truly fit for a king!
Below: More popular than ever! Elvis sings and meets his crowds of fans afterwards in the Hart Centre.
A selection of photos from the Christmas evening 2019 – enjoy! Just click to select a photo and scroll though.
WELL DONE FLEET!
The queues may have been long but the streets were packed, the music was great and the faces were happy. A great job by everyone all round and we hope to see a return of all the old favourites next year. Happy Christmas Fleet!
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