VIDEO: Barnsley Christmas Lights switch-on goes with a bang!

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IT TOOK more than a bit of rain to dampen Barnsley’s spirits as thousands filled the town centre to welcome the Christmas lights.

Children’s TV character Mike The Knight threw the switch for the festive illuminations from the balcony of Alhambra shopping centre.

Sherine MIddlemass with Flyn Crogham, two, from Monk Bretton at Barnsley Christmas Light switch-on

Sherine MIddlemass with Flyn Crogham, two, from Monk Bretton at Barnsley Christmas Light switch-on

“This year it’s all about the kids,” said a spokesman for Barnsley Council.

“We’ve aimed to make this a family oriented event and the kids are so thrilled to see Mike - the screams when he’s on stage are unbelievable!“

Festivities kicked off at 5pm with performances from local singers, then sponsors Dearne FM belted out a medley of Christmas favourites to keep the bopping crowd warm.

Once the countdown was done and the switch flicked, the skies over the Alhambra exploded with fireworks.

“What a great night it’s been, my kids have loved it,” said dad-of-two Paul Bennett.

“They’ve had their picture taken with Mike The Knight and visited Santa in his grotto. I can’t believe how many people have turned out.”