Crowds watch switch-on of Tunstall's Christmas lights
ORGANISERS behind the Tunstall Christmas lights switch-on are celebrating its success after the event attracted hundreds of people.
Families from across the region turned up to mark the countdown to Christmas in Tower Square.
Tunstall Chamber of Trade worked throughout the year to raise funds and organise last night's event.
The business group took over responsibility after Stoke-on-Trent City Council withdrew funding for Christmas lights outside Hanley in a bid to save £84,000.
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Chamber chairman Bill McDonald said: "Although we haven't had any funding from the city council this year, I must say that we have had a great deal of help and support."
Mr McDonald said Tunstall city councillor Lee Wanger had been an active member of the planning and organisation process.
He said: "We couldn't have done it without him, things like closing the roads are very complicated to orchestrate.
"But as usual it's been a brilliant evening.
"We've been very lucky this year to have the support of local businesses sponsoring the event.
"People from Tunstall and across the region love coming to this event every year."
As part of the event, a main road was closed to allow funfair rides and a stage to be set up for the entertainment.
Mr McDonald said: "This night is really aimed at making the children happy so hopefully they really enjoyed themselves."
Michelle James, manager of the Oddfellows Arms in Tower Square, said: "It's always a really fun night, especially for families with young children.
"It gets you in the mood for Christmas and it does give our trade a big boost.
"We like to get in lots of crayons and colouring books to give the children something fun to do if their parents need a quick drink.
"It's got much more of a family feel than the Hanley lights switch on."
Alec Hewitt, aged 37, from Wilson Way in Goldenhill, said: "It's definitely a night for families to enjoy. My children are two and four so hopefully they're now old enough to appreciate the lights when they go on."
Radio DJ and TV presenter, Verity Hilton, aged 45, from Bucknall, who has hosted the event for several years, said: "Tunstall always has a brilliant atmosphere. There's a great community vibe and I always really enjoy hosting these nights."