TAUNTON prepared for the festive season back in November 2007 with fireworks, snow and an abseiling Santa.

It was all part of the town's Christmas lights switch-on in the town centre all those years ago.

The festivities attracted thousands of people and signalled the start of the Christmas.

Onlookers saw Father Christmas abseil down the front of the Market House and there was a spectacular fireworks display after the Sunday night countdown in the town centre.

Stores were open to allow people to start browsing for Christmas presents.

Ahere was even a brief flurry of snow - albeit manufactured by a snow machine to get enthusiastic visitors into the festive spirit.

Taunton town centre manager Lucy Ball told the County Gazette 16 years ago: “Taunton is open for business!

"The town is looking great for Christmas, so we hope it’s going to be a good shopping season.”

That year, more lights had been added in Bridge Street, East Reach and Station Road, using money from the Business Improvement District (BID) project, which was implemented earlier in 2007.

The scheme involved businesses in the town centre contributing a levy to help promote Taunton through events and publicity that would draw people to visit.

Mrs Ball added: “It’s really lovely to have been able to extend the lights via the BID.

"The new lights have LEDs so use far less energy than conventional ones.

“The town is open seven days a week, including late night shopping on Thursdays.”

Also on Thursday nights, ‘Energize’ teen discos were taking place in the evening in the run up to Christmas at Dellers Wharf for 12-to 16-year-olds.