Festive fireworks light up the Wrexham sky
Crowds braved the weather to show their support at this year's light switch on
Rugby star Gareth Thomas was on stage for the big switch on
Glyndwr University Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs stars Charlotte McKelvie, Luke Scrase and John Cooper
Stiwt Theatre Aladdin stars joined the festivities; Genie Gareth Thomas helped six-year-old competition winner Liam Haycock push the button
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HUNDREDS of merrymakers braved the wind and rain last night to celebrate the magic of Christmas.
Excited little ones, and some bigger ones, wore huge grins and woolly hats as they crowded into Queen’s Square to mark the official start of the festive season – the Christmas lights switch on.
The special honour of pushing the button was deftly carried out by rugby star and former Crusaders player Gareth Thomas, competition winner Phil Roberts and a proud little boy, six-year-old Liam Haycock.
Gareth was joined by fellow cast members of this year’s Stiwt Theatre pantomime Aladdin in which he will play the Genie.
On stage he said: “Wrexham’s a great place and I’m glad to be back.
“It’s an honour to be turning the lights on and I’m looking forward to the panto, having a good time and being able to laugh at myself.”
Phil Roberts, 24, was the lucky member of the public who won the coveted prize through a competition run by Rampant Dragon, a company which helped organise the event.
Community radio station Calon FM set the scene with a very merry soundtrack before the Delta Academy of Dance and Performing Arts kept the crowds warm with their energetic routine.
S4C’s own Tudur and Ali, stars of Stwnsh, greeted the crowds and were rewarded by huge cheers from the audience who also gave a warm welcome to Deputy Mayor David Bithell and his wife Virginia.
And rival performers from Glyndwr University’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs moved among the crowd making friends and helping to keep the party going.
The cheers from the crowd were deafening as everyone counted down to the magical moment when the square came alive with twinkling lights followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
The evening’s entertainment was rounded off by local band Heal The Last Stand.
Daniel and Sarah Williams brought their 10-month-old son Daniel to his first ever lights switch on although he slept through some of it.
Sarah said: “We thought about not coming because of the weather but then it eased off at the last minute and we decided we couldn’t miss it.”
A very excited three-year-old little boy called Logan made his parents Ryan Millington and Cassie Murray come to the event despite the rain and the three enjoyed dancing to Calon FM’s soundtrack.
Ryan said: “I don’t think we had much chance of stopping in tonight with him. He’s loving it.”
And three generations of the same family braved the cold to make the most of the festivities. Ann Simmonds, 40, and her son four-year-old Morgan were joined by grandma Frances Chettoe, 66.
Ann said: “I hoped people would still come out despite the weather and we were right.
“It’s great to see so many people.”