Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 09.48.46CROWDS turned out in force for Middlesbrough’s Christmas Lights Switch On as the festive countdown gathers pace.

The highlight of the Yuletide calendar took place on Thursday (December 3) after gale force winds and driving rain forced the original event to be postponed.

Centre Square welcomed thousands to a carnival atmosphere, with costumed characters, live music and a visit by Santa himself adding to the magic.

Heart North East Breakfast Show presenters Justin and Kelly were joined on stage by acclaimed local band Cattle & Cane performing for the last time in the North East this year.

The duo kept the crowd amused in the build-up to the Switch On with sing-alongs and games, with one lucky audience member picking up a £500 Christmas wish list live on stage.

Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The Christmas Lights Switch On is always hugely popular – the weather meant a slight delay but I’m delighted that so many people turned out for the rescheduled event.

“The lights and decorations are always a sure sign that Christmas is just around the corner and I’m grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible at such short notice.”

Cleveland Centre Manager Graeme Skillen said: “The Centre Square Lights Switch On is always a great community event to officially kick-start Christmas in the Boro and we are delighted to be partnering Middlesbrough Council for its Christmas programme for the second year running.”

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