Fears that people would not turn out for the Old Town’s Victorian Evening were quashed when thousands of people arrived for the festive get together.
Organiser Loretta Anderson from Community Action Dacorum had worried that people would think the event had been cancelled due to late running roadworks in Hemel Hempstead’s High Street and that barriers and cones would not be cleared away by workmen in time for the Christmas kick off.
But everything finally came together on Saturday. “The builders came in the morning and cleared the High Street – they did a brilliant job,” said Loretta. “On the night there were probably 3,000 to 4,000 people, it was packed.”
The event, sponsored by Taylors Lettings, saw Dacorum Mayor Penny Hearn and Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning turn on the Christmas lights from the Old Bell pub’s balcony.
“There were masses of people, it was so lovely,” said Loretta.
Some shops opened late and the Rennie Grove Hospice Care Light up a Life service was held around the Christmas tree.
The town centre will host its Christmas lights switch on Sunday, with double Olympic medallist Max Whitlock doing the honours at 5.30pm.
In a new format there will be festive fun for all the family in Marlowes from 2pm.