PICTURE GALLERY: Fireworks and excitement as the countdown to Christmas begins in Great Yarmouth

Children sat atop their parents' shoulders in awe as Great Yarmouth's Christmas tree glowed and festive spirit arrived in the town.

More than 5,000 people filled the market place to count down from 10 before the mayor of Yarmouth, Barry Coleman, switched on the Christmas lights.

There were cheers and applause as the night sky was lit up by a grand fireworks display over Market Gates.

Youngsters wore reindeer antlers and waved glow sticks as they waited in anticipation for the big switch on at 7pm.

Acle-based singer Jessica Todd had warmed up the crowd with a mixture of traditional Christmas songs and modern hits, including covers by Lady Gaga and Adele.

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Before the mayor took to the stage to do the honours, children got to see Santa and his friend Frosty the snowman, complete with his top hat, and then came the big moment.

Away from the main stage donkeys trotted around dressed as reindeer, complete with antlers.

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And parents took advantage of shops staying open until 8.30pm to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones.

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