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

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 - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 ligh

Ava-Rose Green, four, left, and Ive Murphy, four, enjoying the festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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:

Ellie-May Newson, 10, enjoying the festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLEY

Elves dance before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

"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 BRAD

Stilt walkers in the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLEY

Festive fun with the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019


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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 BRADLEY

Festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLEY

Festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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

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

Festive fun as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLEY

The Tunnel of Light as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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: DENI

Santas ready for their procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRAD

Santa leads the procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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. Pic

Families waiting for the Santa's procession before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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:

The Theatre Royal Community Choir sing before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 light

Children are amazed by a real snow globe during the entertainment before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLEY

A show of gymnastics before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLEY

Festive fun with the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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 BRADLE

One child enjoying the snowballs as Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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

Enjoying the entertainment before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

One of the Bad Santas entertains the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Pict

One of the Bad Santas entertains the crowd before the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Todd Cantwell pulls the lever to switch on the 2019 Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Todd Cantwell pulls the lever to switch on the 2019 Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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

Pyrotechnics as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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

Pyrotechnics as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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

Pyrotechnics over Jarrolds as the Norwich Christmas lights are switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

The Tunnel of Light 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 BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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