Express & Star

Crowds turn out to see Christmas lights switched on in Dudley and Brierley Hill

There was plenty of festive cheer in Dudley and Brierley Hill on Saturday as crowds turned out to watch both towns' Christmas lights switched on.

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Let there be light! The moment Dudley town centre Christmas lights were switched on

In Dudley, the lights were switched on by the mayor, Councillor Sue Greenaway and BBC WM’s Kath Stanczyszyn.

European welterweight boxing champ Kirstie Bavington ensured Brierley Hill's event was a knockout success when she joined Father Christmas to press the button and illuminate Brierley Hill.

BBC Radio WM presenter Kath Stancyszyn, Mayor of Dudley Sue Greenaway, and Will Phipps and Rachel Chadwick from Funtime Theatre turned on the lights in Dudley

Families at both events were able to enjoy free panto performances of Sleeping Beauty, funded by Dudley Business First.

Black Country Radio broadcast live from Dudley, while in Brierley Hill there was live entertainment and funfair rides.

Councillor Greenaway said: "It was great to see people turnout to these events – they give a real boost to businesses and bring a bit of festive cheer to the town centres.

Market trader Paul Chapman-Thomas got into the festive spirit

"With the lights on in most of our borough towns now, it’s a sign the big day is just around the corner and I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year."

The events coincided with Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to encourage people to shop local.

Children enjoy the fun of the fair in Dudley

To entice visitors to both free car parking was available for two hours on Dudley Council owned car parks.

Carrie Davies, from Kates Hill, brought her family to the Dudley lights switch-on.

Will Phipps and Rachel Chadwick from Funtime Theatre helped to turn on the lights in Dudley

She said: "We had a great time, it really feels like Christmas now. I love seeing so many local people enjoying themselves and bumping into lots of old friends.

"My kids loved every minute, the only problem is I am now a week behind with my Christmas shopping."

Marie Connell School of Irish Dancing entertained the crowd in Dudley
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