VIDEO: Sheffield lights switch on marks the arrival of Christmas

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Thousands of people watched Olympic silver medal winner Bryony Page switch on the Christmas lights in the city centre this evening.

The huge crowd, which had gathered in the Peace Gardens ahead of the big switch on, cheered as the trampolinist pushed the plunger and turned the lights at 5.30pm.

Sheffield Christmas Lights switch on 2016. X Factor star Gifty Louise and Olympian Bryony Page turned on this years lights.

Sheffield Christmas Lights switch on 2016. X Factor star Gifty Louise and Olympian Bryony Page turned on this years lights.

Before the big moment, Heart Radio’s breakfast presenters Dixie and Emma, who had hosted a full day of entertainment, invited her on stage to show off her medal - even checking that it was real.

Also appearing alongside Bryony, the first British woman to win an Olympic trampoline medal, were X-Factor finalist Gifty Louise, Hype Dance, The Rock Choir, CBeebies’ Mr Maker and the cast of this year’s Snow White pantomime at the Lyceum Theatre.

There was also an array of things for youngsters to enjoy across the city centre before the eagerly anticipated switch on, including storytelling and crafts in the Winter Garden, an elf trail, and a fire engine ride from the National Emergency Services Museum.

Cheryl Root, aged 46, of Arbourthorne, was enjoying a family day out with her partner, daughter-in-law and grandchildren - eight-year-old Amber and four-year-old Morgan, who were enjoying one of many fairground rides which lined the streets.

Sheffield Christmas Lights switch on 2016. The Moor. Pictured from local churches areElaine Cox, Della Smithson, and David Cox who performed a live nativity on The Moor.

Sheffield Christmas Lights switch on 2016. The Moor. Pictured from local churches areElaine Cox, Della Smithson, and David Cox who performed a live nativity on The Moor.

“We are enjoying the rides the most. The kids are really enjoying it. We come every year for the kids because they love it so much.

“All the entertainment is brilliant for the kids. It feels like the start of Christmas now, we’ve even done some Christmas shopping.”

There was also a chance to see Santa in his grotto on Fargate and also the Snow Queen and Jack Frost, who have taken up residence in the Moor Market for Christmas.

Enjoying all the bright lights for the first time was 20-month-old George, who had been brought to the family event by mum and dad Liz and Greg Raynor - along with big sister Grace, aged 5.

Sheffield Christmas Lights switch on 2016. The Moor. The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk from Manor Operatic Society performed to the crowds on The Moor.

Sheffield Christmas Lights switch on 2016. The Moor. The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk from Manor Operatic Society performed to the crowds on The Moor.

Liz, from Totley, said: “This is the third year we have been. The kids are having the best time, they love the rides and seeing the reindeer. I feel much more in the spirit now.”

The Raynor’s were with friends Helen and Simon Hawkins, and their four-year-old son Sam.

Simon said: “Christmas has arrived. There’s a splendid ambience,”

The festive fun will continue over the coming weeks, with the Christmas market open from 10am to 6pm daily throughout November. In December, the market will also be open until 8pm each Wednesday.

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