Deansgate was transformed this evening into the city’s biggest pop venue to celebrate the annual Christmas Lights Switch-on show.
Thousands of people joined the crowds near the Cathedral for a night of pop perfection and festive frivolity.
Headliners Becky Hill and HRVY showed off their pop credentials to a baying crowd of fanatic fans, backed up beautifully by future chart queens Four of Diamonds.
The Grinch (The Lowry) was unable to dampen the mood on Deansgate with the panto stars in full swing from the Opera House’s cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, while the stars of Back to the Future The Musical got the crowd up to 88 miles an hour.
And the wives of Henry the Eighth brought some modern-Tudor sass (SIX at the Lowry), along with the vaudeville charm with the cast of Gypsy (Royal Exchange Theatre).
In what is becoming a much-loved annual fixture, the Dance Academy’s eye-popping moves helped to thaw the cold November night, and KIDZ BOP showcased the global stars of the future.
The Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on is a partnership between Manchester City Council and Hits Radio.
The event concluded with a huge fireworks spectacular.
Next week, Manchester’s biggest red resident – the new but always iconic Giant Santa – will return. Follow him on twitter @McrSanta for his individual take on Christmas.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester Christmas spokesperson, said: "Now the Christmas lights are on we can now say Christmas has officially started in Manchester. The crowds on Deansgate were a thing to behold. Easily one of the biggest crowds we’ve had and the atmosphere was electric.
“The fireworks never fail to amaze me. Always an incredible end to an incredible show. Thanks to everyone who came down.
“We all know Manchester is Santa’s favourite city, which is why he’s chosen to come back this year. Look out for our brand new Giant Santa and his big reveal next week.”
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for skills, culture and leisure, said: “What a night. The crowd was wall to wall families, Mancunians of all ages coming together to celebrate the season. We have six weeks of Christmas to enjoy so get your nearest and dearest together and get down to the Christmas Markets across the city centre and the Ice Village on Cathedral Gardens.
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