MP Fitzpatrick throws Big Switch for Poplar’s ‘Chrispmas’ tree lights
PUBLISHED: 17:57 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 08:40 02 December 2015
© Rehan Jamil
MP Jim Fitzpatrick slipped away from Westminster to switch on a Christmas Tree for hundreds of kids in London’s East End.
He turned up in his Poplar & Limehouse constituency to be confronted by hoards of youngsters.
They were armed with ‘Star Trek’-type laser light-sticks waiting for the tree to come alive with colour.
Shopkeepers and stall-holders in Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market who invited their local man in Parliament to throw the Big Switch have their own version of Christmas.
It’s called “Chrisp-mas” and is now under starter’s orders in the run-up to a prosperous shopping spree they’re hoping can overshadow ‘Black Monday’.
Crowds headed to the Market Square on Friday to watch the Big Switch and to hear carols from five local primary schools—Lansbury Lawrence, Manorfield, St Saviour’s, Bygrove and Mayflower.
There was also live music from Russ Reed, Johnny Boy Moore and headline act Old Dirty Brasstards.
The lights were turned on by the MP at the start of a fun evening for families which finished with Embrace dance group showing the crowd their moves.
The youngsters made a feast of it all with lots of food stalls—and a mince pie eating contest.
There were street performers dressed as elfs or as Christmas puddings and a giant snow globe to have fun in.
Two more events are being staged at Chrisp Street Market in the run up to ‘Chrispmas’, organised by Poplar Harca housing association.
There’s a Makers’ Exchange this coming Saturday selling stuff “crafted by locals with love” with stalls set up outside the Post Office.
The following Saturday, December 12, is the ‘Chrispmas’ Forest grotto, 11am-5pm, where children can meet Santa and claim their gift.
Other entertainment that day includes Spitalfields Nativity City Farm’s urban petting zoo complete with donkeys and sheep, activity stalls, face-painting and a storytelling area at the local Poplar Idea Store.