HUNDREDS of residents turned out to see a market town’s Christmas lights switched on.

People packed the streets of Northallerton to watch the official beginning of the town’s festivities on Friday night (November 30).

The arrival of Father Christmas on the High Street was timed to coincide with the release of fireworks from the roof of Barker’s department store.

This year, he arrived on the top of a vintage double decker bus. There was also a street parade, fairground rides, stalls and a “turkey barbecue”.

Owner of Barkers department store, Charles Barker, said: “It’s been the most spectacular Christmas event we’ve had in its 18 year history.”