Thousands of people gathered in Leicester’s Town Hall Square on Sunday to watch the Christmas Lights being switched on for Christmas 2010.
The entertainment started at 4 o’clock and finished an hour later. People started arriving before half past 3 to ensure they had a good view of the celebration. Families stood in small groups and in some cases three generations watched the festivities together. Some of the younger children had only been to see the lights switched on a few times before and some of the older people had been going to watch for years. Pukaar News spoke to one lady who had come all the way from Italy.
It all kicked off at 4 o’clock with BBC Radio Leicester’s Tony Wadsworth. He was joined on stage by fellow presenter Jim Davis and over the course of the night they entertained Town Hall Square with cheery Christmas messages and jokes. At one point Tony Wadsworth ‘slipped’ and almost switched on the lights with his elbow. This drew a collective gasp from the many children in the crowd.
The first people to perform this year were a brass band from Leicester. All the children performing were locals aged between 10 and 16. Their performance was excellent despite a few nervous faces before they started.
Pukaar News spoke to the mother of one of the performers. She said, “I think it’s great that they get the opportunity to perform at something like this. I would have loved an opportunity like this when I was younger.”
The second performance was by the Great British Barbershop Quartet who entertained the crowd with barbershop vocal harmonies of traditional carols.
To switch on the lights, the Lord Mayor of Leicester was accompanied by 10 year old Robin Kearns. He had won a competition with over 500 entrants to design a Christmas card for the Lord Mayor. His design featured a tree and the message inside wished people a ‘tree-mendous’ Christmas.
When asked how he felt about winning the competition, he said it was, “Amazing.”
Santa Claus, Robin Kearns and the Lord Mayor switched the lights on at half past four. All across the city, Leicester lit up for Christmas.
The night finished off with a visit from Doctor Who and a comedic rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Some of the audience loved this performance whereas others hated it.
At 5 o’clock the crowd dispersed with cold fingers and Christmas cheer.