VIDEO: Thousands brave cold for switch on

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Thousands of families braved the cold this week to mark the switching on of Christmas lights across the district.

Pontefract’s sparkling display lit up the town on Monday night with crowds joining in a countdown to the main event.

Pontefract Christmas light switch on 2013. (P513F348)

Pontefract Christmas light switch on 2013. (P513F348)

The town’s councillors were joined by lucky youngsters chosen from the crowd to flick the switch as thousands of twinkly lights dazzled the town centre to rapturous cheers.

Youngsters filled Beastfair and Market Place as the build-up started. Many of them were excited by the lights and the chance to meet Santa at St Giles’ Church.

Speaking to the Express, seven-year-old Kristian Roebuck, who goes to Carleton Park Junior and Junior school, said: “I think the lights are fascinating. I really like them.

“I’ve been to see Santa and asked him for a BMX bike. He said I’d been a good boy this year.”

Speaking just after he met Father Christmas, Blake Smith, three, said: “Santa’s bringing me a monster truck. I can’t wait.”

His grandma, Claire Evans said it was great to see so many residents turn out.

She added: “Last year the rain was coming in horizontally but I think it’s been fantastic this year.”

Similar festive celebrations were held in Castleford on Tuesday night.

Coun Denise Jeffery was joined by Lock Lane Dance Group to flick the switch on Carlton Street.