Thousands flock to Hull city centre to witness ‘best ever’ Christmas lights switch-on

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It is always a special moment to officially mark the start of the year’s festive season.

This year’s Christmas lights switch-on took on even more significance thanks to Hull’s title of UK City of Culture.

And the thousands of people who packed out Queen Victoria Square on Thursday evening were not left disappointed with a fantastic show of lights and colour.

The switch-on, which happened at 6.30pm, was led by Lord Mayor John Hewitt and brave youngster Daniel Carter, six.

Daniel was asked to switch on the lights after capturing the hearts of people across the city through his bravery when he was diagnosed with cancer last year.


Following the big switch-on, his dad, Kevin, who went to the city centre with Daniel and his mum, Katie, said: “Words can’t describe it.

“The moment was just amazing. I was shocked when I found out he was going to be doing this. It’s just brilliant.”

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The evening saw a number of different entertainers, including a spectacular ice centrepiece being carved live by chainshaw.

This year’s Christmas lights sees a new white LED light display across much of the city centre, including King Edward Street, Whitefriargate, Ferensway and Prospect Street.


Organisers say it is the first time in five years the city will have a 360 degree illumination of Christmas lights.

And Hull’s Lord Mayor said switching on the lights was “up there” with the honour of meeting the Queen and Princess Anne this year.

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Christmas in Hull

On Daniel switching them on with him, he says: “People say they want a big star to switch on the Lights but you can’t get a bigger star than Daniel can you.

“He’s fabulous, he knows exactly what he’s doing and he’s just a superstar.”

Hundreds of families also flocked to the city centre for a taste of Christmas.

Kelly Morrill went to the switch-on with kids Caiden, Curtis and Chloe and partner Graham Thompson.

Kelly Morrill with kids Caiden, Curtis and Chloe and partner Graham Thompson

Kelly said: “I thought it was really good. The atmosphere was nice.

“It’s an event that definitely brings people together. I think the best bit was the countdown.”

As the lights were switched on, a firework display lit up the sky over Queen Victoria Square.

And, although some viewers in the city centre said they were unable to view the fireworks, the majority were overwhelmed by the show put on.

Bill, May and Carl went to the lights.

Bill, May and Carl

Bill, who lives in the Marina, said: “It’s great, I’ve really enjoyed it. We were just saying to each other, you’d have never seen it five years ago.

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“You wouldn’t have imagined it.”

Livy Russell was with her parents Lyn and Dom

Nine-year-old Livy, who lives in the Avenues, went to the switch-on with her parents, Lyn and Dom.

She said: “It was awesome, it was epic. The best one ever.”



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