It’s all bright on the night

Barnsley Christmas Lights Switch on 2011'Ebony Webb switches on the lights with Mayor Cllr Karen Dyson
Barnsley Christmas Lights Switch on 2011'Ebony Webb switches on the lights with Mayor Cllr Karen Dyson
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THOUSANDS of people flocked to Barnsley town centre to see one of the town’s bravest youngsters turn on the Christmas lights.

Little Ebonie Webb, aged four, flicked the switch with help from the town’s Mayor Coun Karen Dyson, Santa Claus and children’s favourite Bob the Builder.

Ebonie was picked to take part in the switch-on ceremony by locals who were asked to select a worthy person to turn on the festive illuminations, by sending in nominations to the Wearebarnsley website.

The youngster has a brain tumour and has been undergoing chemotherapy since she was six months old. Currently her family and friends are raising money to send her to America for life-saving treatment.

Barnsley town centre was packed with around 3,000 party-goers.

A stage was set up in the town centre and performances included the Academy Theatre’s production of Cinderella, Never Mind the Breezeblocks and Bob the Builder and Friends.

Also taking centre stage were Qdos Creates, Zumba dancing and local singer Gemma Woods.

Stunning fireworks lit up the sky and at 6pm Ebonie was joined on stage by the Mayor, Santa and Bob the Builder, when she pushed the plunger and lit up the town.

A Wearebarnsley spokesman said: “There were a lot of amazing and worthy entries, but in the end we thought the honour should go to Ebonie Webb.

“We feel she epitomises all that we want to celebrate about Barnsley not just because she’s a lovely little girl, but because of what she represents - a true Barnsley spirit.”

Anne Untisz, Barnsley Council’s town centre services manager, said: “It’s great to see so many people turn up to enjoy the Christmas lights switch on and getting in the festive spirit.”