Festive season begins in earnest as St Albans switches on Christmas lights

The Christmas lights along St Peter's Street

The Christmas lights along St Peter's Street - Credit: Archant

Everyone’s favourite TV baddie, EastEnders actor Jake Wood, joined thousands of visitors in St Albans city centre at the weekend to enjoy the Christmas lights switch-on.

About 12,000 people attended the festive event on Sunday (15) which had many highlights including a Mother Christmas stilt-walker and animated snowglobes.

Among those watching and enjoying the celebrations was Tony Picciuto, owner of Italian delicatessen Buongiorno Italia in St Albans.

He met BBC star Jake Wood, who was attending the festive event alongside fellow actors also appearing in this year’s pantomime at the Alban Arena, Peter Pan, including St Albans legend Bob Golding.

Tony described the switch-on as a well-organised event, adding, “it was wonderful having the pantomime stars there, and there was a great atmosphere.

“The bands which played were really good, and the minute’s silence held in honour of the victims of the Paris attacks was very fitting.”

Over 420 people had their photos taken in the pop-up snowglobe set up in front of the Town Hall.

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Entertainment was provided from noon until 6pm by various performers and entertainers including Excel Performing Arts students and the Hurst Children’s Theatre Group.

New lights have been placed in the Christmas tree outside the Alban Arena, as a result of a successful crowdfunding campaign to brighten up the city centre.

But there has been a delay in placing better lights in the tree outside the Town Hall as recent gales made it topple over.

District councillor Alun Davies, who launched the campaign and won support from residents and local firms to raise over £4,000 for new lights, said they would be placed in the second tree shortly.