YOUNG artists had the honour of turning on the lights in a County Durham town.

Jack Waters, Charlotte Whitfield, Mia Harris and Grace Marshall helped switch on the lights in Chester-le-Street after winning a colouring competition organised by the town's business association.

The snowy event was hosted by pantomime star Maxie Peters.

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Several inches of snow had fallen in the market town in the lead up to yesterday's switch-on, which was organised by Chester-le-Street's Area Action Partnership.

Entertainment was provided by music groups Churches Together and North Road acoustic trio, while shops remained open late to allow people to make headway with their Christmas shopping.

The colouring competition was organised by Chester-le-Street and District Business Association and entries were displayed in the town's Tesco and Wilko stores.