Liberty X star Michelle Heaton started Sutton’s Christmas celebrations in style when she switched on the town’s lights. The singer and presenter entertained the crowds, performing a medley of the chart-topping band’s greatest hits, as well as tracks by Little Mix and the carol O Holy Night. Speaking on stage she said: “Sutton is a wonderful place and you guys are brilliant for coming out here.” Hundreds of people lined the high street to catch the live performance, undeterred by the wet weather.
The lights switch-on rounded off an afternoon of free family entertainment which included live music, seasonal street entertainers and performances by community groups. Sutton’s Land Train ran free rides up and down the high street, children had a chance to see Santa in his grotto and shoppers browsed the Christmas market stalls for gifts. Activities also ran throughout the day at the St Nicholas Shopping Centre.
The climax of the day’s festivities, was the lights switch-on when the Mayor of Sutton, Councillor Muhammad Sadiq, joined Michelle Heaton, Father Christmas and EastEnders star Melissa Suf-field, who is appearing in the Secombe Theatre’s Christmas production, Pinocchio, on stage to push the plunger and illuminate the town. Before the switch-on the mayor led the crowd in a two-minute silence as a show of solidarity with the people of Paris.
Joan Mongey, who watched the lights switch-on with her family, said the event was “brilliant”. “We come every year, it’s a lovely atmosphere.” Four lucky members of the crowd received a M&S hamper and dozens more caught beanie hats donated by Sutton’s Business of the Year, The Projekt Store, which were thrown from the stage by Michelle Heaton and compere for the day, DJ and presenter Mick Brown. Ross Feeney, Successful Sutton’s chief executive, said: “The lights switch-on has been a fan-tastic way to start Sutton’s Christmas celebrations. Thousands of people have visited the town centre and enjoyed the live entertainment and not even the rain could dampen spirits.”