Wolverhampton Christmas lights switch-on: Thousands pour into the city to enjoy the festivities
Christmas magic has been sprinkled across the city as thousands turned out for Wolverhampton's lights switch-on.
Waves of merrymakers donned their winter woollies and filled Queen Square as the city officially launched its countdown to Christmas.
Dazzling festive lights illuminated the city centre after the switch on at 6.30pm this evening.
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Father Christmas left his reindeer in Lichfield Street as he made a special appearance to join the festivities, along with stars of the stage.
There was also a firework display, brightening the skies for those who braved the weather.
Warming cups of mulled wine, sweet-tasting mince pies and indulgent yule logs kept the festive feeling lingering all evening as families spoilt themselves with Christmas favourites.
The cast of this year's Grand Theatre pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk helped turn on the all-important Christmas Lights with Father Christmas during the celebrations.
They stopped off at the Express & Star's offices ahead of the celebrations.
Adam C Booth, who will play the role of Jack's brother Simple Simon, said: "I'm very excited to switch on the lights. This feels like the start of Christmas.
"We start rehearsals next week, we are ready to get going."
The panto stars were joined by children's book character The Gruffalo and British Citizen Youth Award winner Louis Johnson.
Free Radio's roadshow kept the festive cheer flowing as they played upbeat tunes, while traditional Christmas music echoed from the Wulfruna vintage steam organ.
The glittering evening also saw thrill-seekers take to a mini funfair, while others stopped by the Mander Centre's Winter Wonderland to grab a special gift from Father Christmas.
Revellers also had the chance to grab a host of gifts and goodies as they enjoyed Dudley Street's festive market until 8pm.
Bakery students from the City of Wolverhampton College also flaunted their creative talents, selling their cooked treats to visitors at the celebrations.
The youngsters dished out their Christmas cakes, mince pies, yule logs, festive rings, fruit bars and streusel slices, as well as ever popular muffins and cookies.
Wolverhampton's Christmas lights switch-on marked the first of six free events taking place over the next week.
Celebrations are set to continue in Wednesfield's High Street from 4pm tomorrow, with Father Christmas and the Mayor of Wolverhampton switching on the lights at 5.30pm.
This will be followed by switch-on events in Tettenhall's Upper Green on Saturday, Bantock Park on Sunday, Bilston's Church street on December 1 and Northycote Farm on December 2.