Stockton Sparkles: Huge crowds join in the festive fun of turning on the Christmas lights

Stockton High Street flourished as crowds gathered to turn on the great Christmas lights in the city center.

The countdown to Christmas officially started in Stockton when the hugely popular Stockton Sparkles Festival began turning on the big lights in the city.

The event was hosted by BBC Tees host Gary Phillipson, MC Paulus and Santa himself, with Stockton Mayor Kevin Faulkes being responsible for flicking the switch.

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From 5:30 p.m., crowds gathered to enjoy the on-stage entertainment with music by Phil Davids and the Good Times Band and keep people entertained until the 6:30 p.m. countdown.

There was all the fun of the fair with a 50-foot ferris wheel and carousel that, despite the temperatures, still attracted long lines of festive fun seekers.

Even though it was a cold night, people of all ages were just delighted to be back on the road, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the entertainment.

Natalie Speight, 31, of Thorpe Thewles was with her three children, twins Eliza and Bobby, 6, and Romie 10.

Eliza, Bobby and Romie.

She said, “We’re all very excited about tonight. It’s nice to be part of the celebrations. We haven’t been in town for over a month so it’s good to be outside and at this event. ”

Simon Nattrass, 35 from Stockton, attended the event with his wife Jen, 34, and their two children Ava 9 and Ivy, 7.

Simon Nattrass, Mrs. Jen and their two children Ava and Ivy.

Simon Nattrass, Mrs. Jen and their two children Ava and Ivy.

He said, “It’s exciting to be here and it feels good to make the most of it.”

Jen said, “It’s really nice, but we thought there might have been a couple of stalls at the Christmas market.”

Andy Stott, 37, and Kelly Jevons, 38, with Isla, 12 and Annie, 10, had all just arrived at the event.

Andy Stott and Kelly Jevons with Annie and Isla.

Andy Stott and Kelly Jevons with Annie and Isla.

Andy said: “It’s really busy, we haven’t been here long but it’s great to see a good turnout.

“It feels good to be back on the road, it’s good to have had something to look forward to.”

As it approached 6:30 p.m., the crowds crowded around the stage, filling both sides of the street.

The lights were turned on to the great cheers of the crowd as snowflakes filled the air around the stage and fluttered onto the crowd.

The event organizers joined Santa in a conga among the crowd, and as the people slowly dispersed, community choirs, with the assistance of Apollo Arts Musicians, performed a singalong around the Christmas tree.

We also managed to have a few words with Santa Claus himself, which rounded off the evening nicely. He said: “It’s nice to see everyone and enjoy this event and look forward to Christmas.

“We urgently need a Merry Christmas this year and it’s wonderful to be here.

“Merry Christmas to everyone.”

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