'Magical' Christmas light switch-on for Knaresborough

Knaresborough’s Christmas light switch-on has been described as a ‘magical’ celebration of the town, as crowds gathered in true spirit of the season.

The town was flooded with hat and scarf-clad faces for ‘Bright Friday’ on November 24, which saw families escape the chaos of Black Friday and mark the real meaning of Christmas.

Young dancers from Studio 3 who entertained the crowds. (1711233AM7)

Young dancers from Studio 3 who entertained the crowds. (1711233AM7)

The Church on Gracious Street had been transformed into a bustling workshop where children were making lanterns ready for the light parade, which would ceremonially bring the light to the tree in the Market Place.

Jenny Cook had come along to the parade with her husband, their three-year-old daughter, Matilda, and their sixth-month-old son, Tobias.

She said: “My daughter found it magical going to make a lantern on the same day and then going out into the dark for the parade, she loved it and it was such a lovely atmosphere.

“It just felt like everybody was really coming together and celebrating as one.

“At the start of the parade the town crier was shouting ‘hear ye, hear ye’ and everybody started shouting ‘hear ye hear ye’ back it was really good fun.

Jenny, who had volunteered her time to help children in the workshop said it was ‘emotional’ to see such a good turn-out for the event, which is only in its second year.

She said: “I can’t believe how many people came, it’s such a fantastic thing to see so many people, it makes you quite emotional to see that so many people care about the town.”

After the countdown to the big switch-on, the Market Place was a flurry of light and laughter as crowds enjoyed performances from Knaresborough’s Silver Band, dance group, Studio 3, and local choir groups, Knot Another Choir and the Choral Society.

All of Knaresborough’s churches, the town council, Knaresborough Lions and the town Chamber had pulled together to make the event possible.

Coun Hannah Gostlow, who was marshalling on the night, said it had brought together the whole community.

She said: “It really is a community event brought forward by all aspects of the community.

“It’s really lovely to see the Market Place as full as it was, and that’s what it’s all about it’s getting the community together to celebrate the town.

“Knaresborough’s assets really are the people and the community groups.

“The shops opened later the library opened and had drinks and mince pies to give people a chance to get out of the cold.”

Come the first week of January and the process will start all-over again as organisers meet to ensure next year’s event is even bigger, better and brighter!