HUNDREDS of people turned out to celebrate the start of the festive season as Darlington’s Christmas lights were switched on last night.

Darlington FC manager Martin Gray and Middlesbrough FC captain Rhys Williams were on hand to turn on the town’s illuminations, including a 20ft Christmas tree in Joseph Pease Place.

Crowds were entertained by a TFM roadshow and a visit from Father Christmas.

Among the festivities were a special one-off night market and an outdoor ice rink, which will be open daily through December in Market Place.

For opening times and ticket information visit