Crowds flock to see lights sports stars turn on festive lights

24 November 2016.......  Kadeena Cox and Christine Talbot  switch-on Wetherby christmas lights. Picture Tony Johnson.

24 November 2016....... Kadeena Cox and Christine Talbot switch-on Wetherby christmas lights. Picture Tony Johnson.

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Crowds flocked into the Market Place in Wetherby to see Paralympian Kadeena Cox turn on the town’s Christmas lights.

She was joined by ITV Calendar presenter Christine Talbot as the finale to an evening of entertainment in the town centre which featured the City of Leeds Pipe Band, fairground rides, market stalls and more.

24 November 2016.......  Crowds at the switch-on  of Wetherby christmas lights. Picture Tony Johnson.

24 November 2016....... Crowds at the switch-on of Wetherby christmas lights. Picture Tony Johnson.

The former Wetherby High pupil became the first Briton since 1988 to win a medal in two sports at the same Paralympics and has this week been named as a contender for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

“It was great to welcome back Christine Talbot to flick the all important switch, and she was joined this year by the amazing Gold medallist paralympian champion, Kadeena Cox,” said Town Mayor Coun Norma Harrington.

“Both ladies have a strong connection with Wetherby and it was an honour to have such talent lighting up our beautiful town.”

The Stagecoach group opened the show with songs from Aladdin together with Christmas classics and the audience were left wanting more.

24 November 2016.......  Crowds at the switch-on  of Wetherby christmas lights. Picture Tony Johnson.

24 November 2016....... Crowds at the switch-on of Wetherby christmas lights. Picture Tony Johnson.

Then 70 children from the Just for Fun Theatre Group delivered a superb performance getting everyone in the audience involved with the Twelve days of Christmas and then blasted a snow machine to accompany a Let it Go singalong.

Singer Sarah Halliday gave a wonderful debut performance in front of so many receptive people.

And the Leeds Pipe Band ended the evening with the traditional march through the Shambles, parting the crowds as they marched.

“The Christmas lights switch on was a highlight of the year so far, for me to welcome so many people to the town to enjoy the evening’s festivities,” added Coun Harrington, who became mayor in May.

24 November 2016.......   Tommy Cole selling chestnuts at Wetherby lights switch-on. Picture Tony Johnson.

24 November 2016....... Tommy Cole selling chestnuts at Wetherby lights switch-on. Picture Tony Johnson.

“The Leeds Pipe Band are a firm favourite with the people of Wetherby and were a fitting end to a great night.

“We must thank all the people who were involved in the organisation of the event and last but by no means least the wonderful Elves who not only erect all the trees and lights but who came back on the evening to help get the stalls ready and look after everyone.”

The switch on was partly organised by Wetherby Business Association (WBA) and chairman Alan Beardmore said: “The evening was a great success supported by the market stalls and fair ground rides.

“The illuminated Christmas Trees will be on display until early in January.”