A Bridgend village saw a massive turnout for the turn-on of their Christmas lights, thanks to a huge joint effort by community organisations which saw the newly-formed Cornelly Songbirds Ladies Choir teaming up with local schools, the Harlequins Marching Band and even Olaf, Mickey and Minnie – and Santa came along, too, riding in a firetruck from the local fire station to hand out selection boxes, while local DJ Brian Morris delivered a backdrop of music in between the events, while nearby Seasons Cafe kept the several hundred strong crowd fed and watered.
Local schools had taken part in a draw to see which lucky child would have the honour of turning on the village Christmas lights. Lucky Kali Tranter was the winner, and the event raised a whopping £650 for the Sandville Self Help Centre.
Local councillors, PCSOs and community leaders attended the event, singing along with the rest of the crowd while the children and later the Cornelly Songbirds delivered a heart warming performance. Having turned up to give a hand setting up, even the Mayor of Bridgend, Stuart Baldwin, was on hand to help pitch the tent ready for the DJ.
Astonishingly, the Songbirds formed only recently and leader, Jane Granville, had managed to pull the event together in just 6 weeks – and it was their first public performance.
The crowd were full of praise for the event, while community leaders were inspired by the generosity and community spirit of residents and local businesses.
“This event did not cost the community a penny, because local businesses stepped up to donate prizes, we were overwhelmed by the community support – even the Disney character costumes were loaned free of charge. I can’t thank everyone enough, it was an amazing night and the kids loved every minute.
“My only challenge now is that people are already talking about next year – personally I can’t wait!”
Mawdlam resident Lisa Baker added:
“I have to admit when I saw how many people were there, all singing, and Olaf dancing with the children, it brought a lump in my throat. This is how community should be – for me, that really did get Christmas off to a wonderful start. I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in organising it and a huge thank you to everyone who turned up.”