Thousands get in festive spirit at Pontefract lights switch-on

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Pontefract's Christmas lights are switched on.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Pontefract's Christmas lights are switched on.

This was the moment Christmas truly arrived in Pontefract.

The annual festive lights switch-on always attracts thousands of people and this year was no different.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Crowds of onlookers gather for the Pontefract Christmas light switch on.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Crowds of onlookers gather for the Pontefract Christmas light switch on.

The Haribo mascot Goldbear is pictured doing the honours and flicking the big switch alongside local councillors last Monday.

Staged entertainment took place earlier in the day with vocal performances from Kaci J, Why So Serious, Simon Walker, and Stagecoach Performing Arts plus a Christmas Panto snippet from Saint Giles Pantomime Society.

A Christmas market was also held with a funfair, donkey rides and entertainment for all the family.

As well as doing the big switch-on, Goldbear was out and about meeting and greeting the many children who had turned out in the cold.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - St Giles' Church Pantomine group perform on stage.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - St Giles' Church Pantomine group perform on stage.

Councillor Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “The switch-on events and special markets mark the start of the festive period.

“It allows family and friends to enjoy the entertainment and start some Christmas shopping.”

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Jillian & Clive Hopkinson with their Christmas produce stall.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Jillian & Clive Hopkinson with their Christmas produce stall.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Isobel Walker, Chloe Harris, Alice Walker, William Walker & Mia Harris in front of the Pontefract Christmas tree.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Isobel Walker, Chloe Harris, Alice Walker, William Walker & Mia Harris in front of the Pontefract Christmas tree.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Isobel Walker, Chloe Harris, Alice Walker, William Walker & Mia Harris in front of the Pontefract Christmas tree.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Isobel Walker, Chloe Harris, Alice Walker, William Walker & Mia Harris in front of the Pontefract Christmas tree.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Crowds of onlookers gather for the Pontefract Christmas light switch on.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 27/11/17 - Press - Pontefract Christmas Lights, Pontefract, England - Crowds of onlookers gather for the Pontefract Christmas light switch on.