PANTOMIME stars helped light up Worthing town centre and brought smiles to many young faces on Saturday.
The annual Countdown to Christmas event saw children take free rides in Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage.
Two of the stars from the Pavilion Theatre’s Christmas production, Cara Dudgeon, playing Cinderella, and Prince Charming Matt Evers, from Dancing on Ice, braved the cold to meet families.
Worthing Town Centre Initiative manager Sharon Clarke said: “There was plenty of interest and nobody was disappointed. We ran around 100 rides an hour, all free, then had an hour where people could take pictures in the carriage. It went down really well.
“We have had reindeers in the past but with Cinderella coming to Worthing, it was an ideal opportunity to do something different.”
Entertainment was provided by young singers from Vocademy, which meets at East Worthing Community Centre. The performance by youngsters aged seven to 18 was one of their biggest to date.
Helen Bowman, manager, said: “This was a huge honour for Vocademy and our students were really excited to be taking part.
“This event marks the official countdown to Christmas and all the students did us proud by putting everything they’d learned in lessons into practice in front of such a large crowd.”
The event also saw Mrs Clarke switch on the Christmas lights on the rotunda, to complete the town centre lights display.
She said: “This year’s lights cost just under £30,000, all funded by businesses. They include a new curtain of lights, costing £12,000, so the decorations extend from Monsoon towards the West End.
“We keep building on the display each year and we are very proud in Worthing that we do not use any public money on the lights.”
Larger stores in Worthing will be offering extended opening hours from December 14 to 23 and many other stores will be opening later on December 10 and 17.
Visit the website www.worthingtowncentre.co.uk to keep up to date with Christmas opening hours in Worthing town centre.
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