Orpington’s switch on event returned on Sunday, with thousands of families visiting a bustling town centre to start their Christmas countdown.
Organised and funded by the town centre business community – Orpington 1st - and supported by Manak Solicitors and The Walnuts Shopping Centre, Light Up Orpington 2022 was the biggest yet.
The move of the yuletide extravaganza to a Sunday made for more Orpingtonians than ever enjoying proceedings and the high street was alight with festive spirit.
The south section of the high street was pedestrianised for the day to accommodate a huge increase in footfall, food and gift stalls, fairground rides and live entertainment. Compered by the dynamic delight Paul Evers, the main stage hosted a high-octane performance from The Renegade Blues Brothers, the brilliant barbershop of The Kentones, and an array of great local acts. A second performance area at The Walnuts saw more live music and dance, including students of The Lucy Griffiths Dance & Theatre Academy.
Above: The Renegade Blues Brothers in full flow. Below: The magic of Christmas brought a flurry of snow to the high street
Street stalls, rides, and activities were all busy, and cafes and restaurants were buzzing - with some reporting a 100% increase in takings vs the previous week.
Manak’s Virtual Reality experience and snow globe once again proved popular, as did The Walnuts’ Santa’s grotto.
New for this year was the inclusion of the third Orpington Children’s Business Fair, with 40 young entrepreneurs launching 24 businesses, achieving over £3,000 revenue between them.
Above: The mighty Dread Centre capped off a great stage line-up. Below: Is this love that I'm feeling?
The unifying reggae lilt of the magnificent Dread Centre graced the headline slot at the main stage, before Deputy Mayor Cllr Christine Harris, Orpington 1st chairman Martin Price, and Orpington ward councillors Kim Botting and Pauline Tunnicliffe assembled with Santa to join the crowd in the countdown to the eagerly anticipated firework finale.
Martin Price, said, “it’s been another great day for Orpington with a fantastic atmosphere. The turnout has been incredible. A huge thank you to everyone for coming to enjoy Light Up Orpington, and for continuing to support local businesses – it’s their investment in the town that makes these occasions possible.”
The town now looks forward to the Orpington Santa Dash on Sunday 4th December, with hundreds of Santas set to make their way round Priory Gardens, up the high street, and into Market Square, in the festive fun run.
Lots more fantastic photos on our Facebook Page
Thanks to Stephen Sangster for this fantastic aerial film
Drone photograph by Stephen Sangster