Christmas starts here! Thousands watch Luke Campbell switch on Hull's lights
THOUSANDS of people, young and old, packed the centre of Hull last night to herald in the start of the Christmas season.
Wrapped up in their winter woollies, excited crowds gathered in Hull city centre to watch Olympic champion Luke Campbell switch on the Christmas lights.
Steve Jewitt, 35, of east Hull, had to run from the car with his two daughters Stevie-Leigh, seven, and Lacey-Mae, four, to catch the switch-on in Queen Victoria Square.
“We just made it,” he said. “The traffic was grid-locked and we had three minutes to get from the car to the square.
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“It was brilliant and well worth the rush. The lights look excellent.
“The event really has put everyone in the Christmas mood.”
Stevie-Leigh said: “I thought we were going to miss it. I’m pleased we didn’t.”
The crowds enjoyed an evening of live entertainment including a performance from Ti Amero and a rendition of The Snowman from Matthew Wade. There was also a guest appearance from the Chuckle Brothers.
The honour of lighting up the city went to Gold medal-winning boxer Luke and Lord Mayor of Hull, Councillor Danny Brown, who pushed the switch from the City Hall balcony.
Luke said: “I’m very proud to have gone out on the balcony for the second time.
“Both times have been priceless and both experiences will live with me for the rest of my life.
“The way the city of Hull has got behind me has been fantastic and they continue to do so.They are the passion that drove me to gold.
“I was very excited to be here.”
“It is unbelievable to have gone out in front of the people to switch on the lights.”
The lights switch-on is usually seen as the time residents start to do their Christmas shopping.
Luke, 25, who won a Gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics, is taking a more relaxed approach.
“Christmas shopping? Don’t we start that at the end of December,” he said.
As the lights went on, the rain came down, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of revellers.
Kelly Waud, 27, of east Hull, was enjoying the moment with her three children Megan, four, Bradley, six, and Cameron, four months.
She said: “It brings the community together.
“Hull is definitely looking bright. It also shows how big Hull is. There were loads of people here tonight.”
Although Cameron was fast asleep throughout the switch-on, Bradley and Megan are both now counting down the days until Christmas.
“The lights look very pretty,” said Bradley, who was wearing a Tiger hat in support of his favourite football team Hull City. “I’m excited about Christmas. I might be getting a BMX.”
MORE ON CHRISTMAS IN HULL
• Picture gallery: Christmas lights switch-on in Hull city centre