The first ever double Christmas lights switch on in Peterborough has been hailed a huge success.
Thousands turned out to enjoy the event with both the City Council and Queensgate Shopping Centre turning on their festive lights on the same day (Saturday November 19).
Councillor Janet Goodwin, cabinet member for city centre management, culture and tourism, told ESP: “We are really pleased with the success of this year’s switch-on event.
“Working with Queensgate, we put on our biggest event to date with thousands of people coming into the city centre to enjoy a fantastic programme of local entertainment as well as both light switch-ons.
“I hope that lots of people will visit the city centre in the run-up to Christmas to see the lights and visit the many shops and restaurants that our city now offers.”
There was stage entertainment throughout the afternoon in Cathedral Square featuring plenty of local talent with the event hosted by Kev and Ros from Heart FM.
There was music from singer Tom Korni, Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices, The Stringlers, a sing-along with The Key Theatre Dick Whittington panto cast and the Mayor of Peterborough was joined by JC Salsa to try out a few moves.
During the day more than £700 was raised for the Mayor’s charities by the Mayor and his charity team selling prize draw tickets to win a bike and Scalextic, sweets and hot chocolate.
Santa’s elves had been handing out wristbands throughout the afternoon ahead of a huge prize draw in Queensgate as the action then moved inside the shopping centre.
There was more entertainment here for the crowds before Mrs Claus joined Kev & Ros to start a huge prize give away for lucky wristband winners with the top prize a family holiday to Lapland donated by Thomas Cook.
Then the winner of a competition to switch on Queensgate’s lights, 4-year-old Joshua Bolton, went up on stage to help press the button and the centre’s fantastic decorations lit up to huge applause. It also marked the official opening of Father Christmas’ grotto in the centre.
Photos: Emma Bothamley and Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine