Preston lights switch on a success

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Christmas has arrived in Preston - big style.

Thousands of people turned out in force om Saturday night for a star studded Christmas Lights switch on extravaganza.

Photo Neil and Jack Cross'Preston Christmas Lights Switch On'PNE stars, Russell Watson and Matt Cardle push the plunger to light the Christmas lights

Photo Neil and Jack Cross'Preston Christmas Lights Switch On'PNE stars, Russell Watson and Matt Cardle push the plunger to light the Christmas lights

The crowd shrugged off freezing temperatures and even a flurry of (fake) snow to take part in the annual ritual. The Flag Market was turned into a mini arena as a bevy of stellar acts took to the stage.

Headliners included X Factor star Matt Cardle and the People’s Tenor Russell Watson, who wowed an audience which ranged from babes in arms to grandparents.

Grandad Richard Stecyk travelled over from Leyland to join his daughter Shannen and her six month baby son Devon for a family night out.

He said: “It has been really, really good. I have enjoyed all of it, especially Russell Watson and spending time with my family.”

Nine-year-old Alex Cowburn enjoyed the freerunning group the Street Monkeys while his mum Kirstie had her dream come true watching her idol Matt Cardle on stage.

She said; “It’s been really good, I have enjoyed it. I supported Matt right through X Factor and was made up when he won. It has been brilliant.”

Among those also on stage was Preston’s Guild mayor Councillor Carl Crompton, his wife Linda and Preston North End stars, straight from Deepdale. But, of course the night belonged to one act only - Santa.