Hundreds of families turned out to enjoy a fun day organised to help drum up pride in Doncaster town centre.
Fran Bishop, who appeared on TV show The Apprentice, teamed up with landlords of the Waterdale Centre to hold the event on Tuesday.
She and centre manager Rebecca Berry made the arrangements for the family fun day in just 24 hours.
Fran said: “It was amazing. I’m actually a bit taken aback because I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was and as many people to turn out as did.
“I never struggle for words but the amount of random people who came up to me and started hugging me was amazing.
“I had one woman come up to me who was crying and said it was like the town centre used to be.”
The event saw empty units at the shopping centre filled with activities and stalls, with family entertainment and small businesses using the space.
Parking charges were also scrapped for the day at the Waterdale car park as part of the plan.
Fran decided to organise the event after she was struck by a shoplifter she confronted after spotting him furtively placing two outfits into a large bag.
She said: “We’ve had interest in two of the empty units already and people have been saying how great it was.
“The event was proof at how easy things can be done but we need action not words.
“Everyone has got to do more.”
Fran has also organised a similar event for October 26 , which will have a Halloween theme.