X Factor star switches on Hartlepool's Christmas lights

The Northern Echo: Abi Alton Abi Alton

MORE than 1,000 people turned out to see X Factor star Abi Alton turn on Hartlepool’s Christmas lights earlier tonight, Wednesday, December 4.

Singer Abi, from Guisborough, is the first celebrity to turn on the lights in the town for more than ten years.

Hundreds of parents and children gathered in Church Square to see Abi, as well as be entertained by town bands, The Jar Family and Red Dreams as well as a BBC Radio Tees roadshow.

Hartlepool’s ceremonial mayor, Stephen Akers-Belcher said: “It was an evening full of festive cheer and together with our first-ever Christmas market it is a wonderful start to the run-up to Christmas.”

The ceremony marked the start of four days of festive fun including the Christmas market. There will also be craft workshops at Hartlepool Art Gallery, carols from local choirs in Church Square and a pantomime by East Durham College students, as well as appearances from Father Christmas.

All the events have been funded with the help of a grant from the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund.

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