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'It is a special place' - Norwich City star switches on Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 22:22 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:03 15 November 2019

Todd Cantwell pulls the lever to switch on Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Todd Cantwell pulls the lever to switch on Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Christmas has come to Norwich after a Premier League switch-on.

Ava-Rose Green, four, left, and Ive Murphy, four, enjoying the festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAva-Rose Green, four, left, and Ive Murphy, four, enjoying the festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dereham-born Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell turned on the festive lights in the city centre in front of an excited crowd.

Ellie-May Newson, 10, enjoying the festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEllie-May Newson, 10, enjoying the festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Speaking before the switch-on, Mr Cantwell said: "I'm excited. It is an absolute pleasure to do something like this.

Elves dance before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYElves dance before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"My mum and dad used to bring me to the Norwich lights switch-on when I was a little kid so it is a bit surreal. It is not often you get a chance to do something like this. It is privilege."

Stilt walkers in the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStilt walkers in the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He added his parents and friends would be watching him switch-on the lights and described it as a proud moment for them.

Festive fun with the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFestive fun with the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The footballer said: "Norwich will always be my home, hopefully until I retire from football. It is a special place."

Festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFestive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Cantwell described himself as a big fan of Christmas and admitted to already putting up his Christmas lights, as well as watching the original Home Alone film.

Festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFestive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But he added the festive season was an important time for the family.

Festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFestive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He described the light switch-on as a pinch-yourself moment to the large crowd, which included many families.

The Tunnel of Light as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Tunnel of Light as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

After the footballer switched on the lights from Norwich City Hall headquarters on St Peter's Street, fireworks filled the sky behind the council building and across the other side of the Market Place.

Santas ready for their procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSantas ready for their procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The famous Tunnel of Light outside the Forum was also illuminated in a variety of colours.

Santa leads the procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSanta leads the procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lord Mayor of Norwich, Vaughan Thomas, said the lights were marvellous and a special prayer was said by the Rev David Lloyd, from St Thomas' Church on Earlham Road, Norwich.

Families waiting for the Santa's procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFamilies waiting for the Santa's procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Paul Carver, 35, of Rosemary Road in Sprowston, Norwich, who watched the switch-on with his two young sons and wife, said: "I didn't expect fireworks. That was a bonus. The atmosphere is good."

The Theatre Royal Community Choir sing before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Theatre Royal Community Choir sing before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He added the lights helped build up the excitement for his children.

Children are amazed by a real snow globe during the entertainment before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChildren are amazed by a real snow globe during the entertainment before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dan Bunting, 39, from Horsham St Faith, who was watching with his three children, said: "The lights are very nice. It creates a bit of festive cheer."

A show of gymnastics before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA show of gymnastics before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

George Culik, 23, from Earlham Road, praised the event's community spirit and said: "I like to celebrate Christmas all year."

Festive fun with the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFestive fun with the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Robert Loades, 66, from Fakenham, said: "The lights bring joy to the city. It brings people together."

One child enjoying the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne child enjoying the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Enjoying the entertainment before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEnjoying the entertainment before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the Bad Santas entertains the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the Bad Santas entertains the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Todd Cantwell pulls the lever to switch on Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTodd Cantwell pulls the lever to switch on Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pyrotechnics as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPyrotechnics as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pyrotechnics as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPyrotechnics as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pyrotechnics over Jarrolds as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPyrotechnics over Jarrolds as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Tunnel of Light as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Tunnel of Light as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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