The countdown to Christmas in Wolverhampton kicked off in style as more than 2,000 people gathered to see the city’s festive lights switched on.
Crowds cheered as Sherrie Hewson and the city’s Mayor Councillor Christine Mills were joined by cartoon character SpongeBob Squarepants to perform the honours last night.
Fireworks were launched from the top of Beatties before Father Christmas headed to The Mander Centre to unveil the grotto there.
Families starting packing into the streets around Market Square from 5pm to see the celebrations begin.
Youngsters hopped on fairground rides and ran to greet SpongeBob as he appeared.
Sherrie – who is appearing in the Grand Theatre’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk – said she was “delighted” to be given the honour of turning on the lights. The Loose
Women presenter, who shot to fame as Maureen in Coronation Street and currently stars in Benidorm, added: “It’s great to be back in Wolverhampton.
“I love switching on Christmas lights but I always cry as it is a very emotional time for me. But in our family we believe it is the most special time of our lives so it is great to celebrate with eveyone in Wolverhampton.”
The panto runs at The Grand from December 8 to January 20.