Christmas is go! 30 pix from York’s festive lights switch on 2017

Berwick Kaler and the Lord Mayor Cllr Barbara Boyce having fun on the stage in St Helen's Square. Photograph: Mia Titley

There’s no getting away from it – Christmas has begun.

Crowds of shoppers gathered in York tonight (Thursday) to see York’s biggest and best festive lights switched on.

Entertainment on the stage in St Helen’s Square was led by Minster FM’s Ben Fry and Ellie Brennan before BBC Look North’s Clare Frisby became master of ceremonies.

She introduced York Theatre Royal panto pals Berwick Kaler and Martin Barrass to lead the countdown. And in a flash the lights came on to a huge cheer.

Thanks to the York BID, in partnership with Make It York, the city has its best ever festive display. More than 160,000 bulbs are lighting up the city.

More illuminations are to follow, with lights being added to Ouse and Lendal bridges shortly.