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Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit at the first ever Seven Kings Winter Festival on Saturday.

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Local businesses sold crafts, winter woolies, toys and gifts at a Christmas market in the train station car park.

Shoppers enjoyed performances and storytelling and there were rides and games for children.

The grand finale was the switching on of the lights on a giant Christmas tree outside Seven Kings station, in High Road.

The world’s oldest marathon runner, Fauja Singh, did the honours with the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Felicity Banks, and actors from the Kenneth More Theatre sang carols and songs from their upcoming pantomime, Aladdin.

Cllr Balvinder Saund said around 100 people gathered to see the spectacle.

She added: “We’re very pleased with the ambience the decorations have given the area.

“People coming out of the station are struck by that huge tree and lights and I’m sure it makes them feel happy and festive.

“I thought for its first year the market went very well and hopefully we will be able to do it again next year.”

Multi-faith lights surrounding the tree were switched on in October to mark Diwali but the tree replaced the controversial “peace dove” erected last year.

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