Thousands pack into Hanley for Christmas Lights switch on

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Thousands gathered outside Hanley Town Hall to enjoy the city centre Christmas Lights switch-on and a feast of other festive entertainment.

The event kicked off the Winterfest celebrations, funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the City Centre Partnership and the arts programme Appetite.

Outdoor event organisers Emergency Exit Arts took centre stage as the clock ticked down to the big switch on, with giant puppets and pyrotechnics lighting up Albion Square in Hanley.

In a 45-minute spectacular, two sprites on stilts, a fire bird, and a huge puppet version of Jack Frost paraded around the city centre, wowing onlookers.

Special effects lighting transformed Hanley Town Hall into a frozen palace, while entertainment was provided by Flame Oz fire performers and Calvos stilt walkers.

Christmas Lights in Hanley 2014

Food and drink stalls surrounded the event, offering winter treats such as hog roast, mulled wine and warm cider.

Visitors also had the opportunity to take a look at the new art installation from British photographer Mark Power.

‘The City of Six Towns’ visual study illustrates the people and places of Stoke-on-Trent, and is available to view on Old Hall Street.

The main event of the night was of course the switching on of the city centre Christmas Lights.

They illuminated the streets of Hanley and the large Christmas tree outside the town hall.

This is just the start of the Christmas celebrations in Stoke-on-Trent this festive season, with Bethesda Gardens set to transform into an Alice in Wonderland themed interactive experience on Sunday, November 30.

And next month the Christmas Winter Fair will set up in Albion Square, boasting local crafts, food, and drinks, on Saturday December 6.

You can keep up to date with all Christmas events around the city through the council website.

Click below to see StaffsLive’s video from the event:

Christmas Lights in Hanley 2014

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