St Albans Christmas lights switch-on - With gallery

THE FESTIVE season got off to a cracking start on Sunday when more than 10,000 people filled the city centre to watch the Christmas lights being switched on.

At 5.30pm crowds looked on as the lights were illuminated by the Mayor of St Albans and the stars of this year’s pantomime Aladdin, including CBeebies’ Mister Maker actor Phil Gallagher.

Throughout the day stalls selling gift ideas and hot food and drink ranging from mulled wine to grilled sausages lined St Peter’s Street.

Children also visited Santa in his Grotto and took a whirl on the fairground rides, while a whole host of local performers put on a show for the spectators.

St Albans Mayor Cllr Eileen Harris said: “Residents and visitors turned out in their thousands for an enormous celebration to mark the countdown to Christmas. I was delighted by the size of the crowd and by the number of people who stayed to the very end to watch the lights being switched on.

“The atmosphere was wonderful and people were clearly having tremendous fun.”