VIDEO: Doncaster Christmas lights switch on

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Festive cheer filled the air as hundreds braved the elements and got into the Christmas spirit at the annual light switch on event.

The strong winds didn’t stop residents turning out to enjoy the annual tradition in Doncaster’s newly renovated market place.

Ruby, four and Archie Craythorn, three, of Armthorpe with Santa at the Doncaster Christmas Light Switch On. Picture: Andrew Roe

Ruby, four and Archie Craythorn, three, of Armthorpe with Santa at the Doncaster Christmas Light Switch On. Picture: Andrew Roe

The crowd was more than double last year’s attendance as children and adults alike made the most of the festive market stalls, fair ground rides and entertainment on offer.

Speaking at the event Natalie Shaw, 26, of Bentley who had brought along three-year-old son Robert Middleton said: “We’re having a great time, it’s been really good and the kids have loved it. I’ve never been to the light switch on before but I’m impressed.”

Meanwhile three-year-old Izzy McMertrie was still on cloud nine from visiting Santa.

“Santa gave me a teddy and I would like him to bring me an Elsa from Frozen at Christmas,” she said.

The town’s Christmas lights were officially switched on by the Civic Mayor Coun Pat Haith at in the new market square with a little help from an excited member of the audience.

The event was compered by local radio station Trax FM who were broadcasting live from the packed market place.

Attractions included a choir, pantomime characters, a comic book character appearance, Doncaster Rovers, Christmas card making workshop, music from the Jazz Santas and DJs and live bands provided by the Mason’s Arms.

The outdoor market selling festive items was also a big hit.

The event was combined with the official opening of Doncaster’s new outdoor market and public square ahead of the switch-on.

Doncaster Council has invested around £1m in creating the new outdoor market, that was opened by Mayor Ros Jones.

Market trader Neil Day of Ellie’s stall was selling Christmas jumpers on the night .

He said: “It’s a great event and nice to see so many people.

“The people behind the new market renovation deserve a gold medal for rocking this market transformation and I can just see it getting better and better every year.”

The new market features modern stalls, improved sight lines with a ‘grid’ structure similar to aisles in a supermarket and improved access to the Wool Market.

A new public square in front of the Corn Exchange featuring paving, new benches and street lighting has also been built.

Major Jones said: “The markets are vital to the town centre’s economy, providing employment for around 1,000 people, and continuing the regeneration is important for jobs and growth.”