Thousands of people turn out to see Norwich’s Christmas lights switched on

Helen McDermott and Santa dance as the Norwich Christmas lights come on with fireworks. Picture: DEN

Helen McDermott and Santa dance as the Norwich Christmas lights come on with fireworks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

It might still be more than a month to Christmas but the festive spirit has well and truly arrived in Norwich.

The City Hall lit up after the Christmas lights were switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The City Hall lit up after the Christmas lights were switched on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Thousands of people, young and old, turned out for the annual Christmas lights switch-on to see the city turned into a twinkling, sparkling and brightly-coloured winter wonderland.

There was a range of festive fun, music and entertainment across the city yesterday evening including Father Christmas himself leading a colourful parade through the city centre from 6pm, starting at Norwich Cathedral and finishing at Gentleman's walk.

But by 7pm all eyes were on City Hall where former Anglia TV presenter Helen McDermott, who has also worked for Mustard TV and Radio Norwich, did the honours and switched on Christmas - sending fireworks shooting up into the sky as she did so.

The Christmas lights stretched almost for as far as the eye could see, across the city centre, into The Norwich Lanes and into Norwich Cathedral Quarter.

Crowds make their way slowly through the popular Tunnel of Lights at the Norwich Christmas lights sw

Crowds make their way slowly through the popular Tunnel of Lights at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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The spectacular switch-on put some real seasonal cheer into the crowds of people who descended on the city centre where The Tunnel of Light has made a welcome return with its 50,000 sequenced lights that reflect the patterns and colours of the Northern Lights.

Chris Hansell, 72, from Thorpe, attended the event with her grandson Corin, 10, and said they both loved it.

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She said: 'I thought it was very good.

'It's a good way to get into Christmas.

Helen McDermott with the Lord Mayor, David Fullman, after she switched on the Norwich Christmas ligh

Helen McDermott with the Lord Mayor, David Fullman, after she switched on the Norwich Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

'I think its lovely bringing everyone together. It's a real family evening.'

Corin said: 'I thought it was really good. I loved it.'

Mariela Nakeva, 27, from Norwich, her partner Stanislav Rosef, 32, and their one-year-old son Iliyan were attending the switch on for the first time.

She said: 'It was very spectacular.

Helen McDermott ready to switch on the Norwich Christmas lights with Santa. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Helen McDermott ready to switch on the Norwich Christmas lights with Santa. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

'I like Christmas and I like sparkly so I liked this.'

Will Gayton, 23, from Norwich and his girlfriend Melissa Eden, 20, who lives near Harleston, were also attending for the first time.

They said they 'weren't expecting' the fireworks as well as the lights which they said looked 'good'.

Drummers lit up at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Drummers lit up at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Drummers lit up at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Drummers lit up at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Drummers lit up at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Drummers lit up at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Ugly sisters entertain before the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Ugly sisters entertain before the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Crowds enjoy the festive snowballs at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Crowds enjoy the festive snowballs at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

One of the short films projected onto Norwich Castle at the Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DEN

One of the short films projected onto Norwich Castle at the Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Christmas lights in Davey Place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Christmas lights in Davey Place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Crowds make their way slowly through the popular Tunnel of Lights at the Norwich Christmas lights sw

Crowds make their way slowly through the popular Tunnel of Lights at the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crowds enjoying the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Dancers entertain the crowds before the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dancers entertain the crowds before the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Dancers entertain the crowds before the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dancers entertain the crowds before the Norwich Christmas lights switch on. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

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