17 pictures – and one video – of the York Christmas lights switch on 2016

What a spectacle. Can any city in the world be more Christmassy? Photograph: Richard McDougall
17 Nov 2016 @ 8.41 pm
| Entertainment
What a spectacle. Can any city in the world be more Christmassy? Photograph: Richard McDougall
What a spectacle. Can any city in the world be more Christmassy? Photograph: Richard McDougall

Excited children, happy parents, brass bands, choirs and panto stars came together to officially launch York’s Christmas on Thursday (November 17).

A large crowd gathered in St Helen’s Square in front of the large tree donated by St Leonard’s Hospice as part of its ‘Light up a Life’ campaign.

The Shepherd Group’s brass band serenaded everyone with traditional carols.

Award-winning BBC Radio York breakfast show presenter Georgey Spanswick was the host. She brought onto the stage in front of the tree the Lord Mayor Cllr Dave Taylor, Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley, and York Theatre Royal panto stars Hermione Lynch and AJ Powell.

After a brief chat, the countdown began. The switch was thrown and the square was light up with Christmas lights.

Then it was time for a trip round St Nicholas Fair, which also sees the return of Thor’s Tipi where friends and family can sit on cosy furs around a roaring fire, Scandinavian style.

The switched on team. Left to right: Lord Mayor Cllr Dave Taylor, Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley, BBC Radio York breakfast show presenter Georgey Spanswick, and York Theatre Royal panto stars Hermione Lynch and AJ Powell
The switched on team. Left to right: Lord Mayor Cllr Dave Taylor, Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley, BBC Radio York breakfast show presenter Georgey Spanswick, and York Theatre Royal panto stars Hermione Lynch and AJ Powell
The Lord Mayor Cllr Dave Taylor and Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley interviewed before the switch on
The Lord Mayor Cllr Dave Taylor and Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley interviewed before the switch on
Tis the season to be sparkly
Tis the season to be sparkly
Lit up and beautiful, St Helen's Square in York
Lit up and beautiful, St Helen’s Square in York
The lights over Stonegate
The lights over Stonegate
York's Parliament Street tree with Shambles Market behind
York’s Parliament Street tree with Shambles Market behind
Singers from Lucy McLean's Pop Choir treat the crowds to Christmas songs
Singers from Lucy McLean’s Pop Choir treat the crowds to Christmas songs
Singing up a storm in front of the Parliament Street tree
Singing up a storm in front of the Parliament Street tree
A view from Shambles Market of the lights
A view from Shambles Market of the lights
The city was buzzing
The city was buzzing
Winter wonderland
Winter wonderland
Brisk trade at St Nicholas Fair
Brisk trade at St Nicholas Fair
Shoppers throng Parliament Street
Shoppers throng Parliament Street
Business is already good for one of the stallholders at the St Nicholas Fair
Business is already good for one of the stallholders at the St Nicholas Fair
The popular Thor's Tipi, back for a second year
The popular Thor’s Tipi, back for a second year
The funfair lit up in King's Square
The funfair lit up in King’s Square