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Photo- Pixabay

Festive cheer lit up Uxbridge as thousands witnessed Uxbridge’s Christmas lights switch on last Sunday.

Coronation Street star and Celebrity Big Brother winner Ryan Thomas, alongside the Mayor of Hillingdon Cllr John Morgan, started the countdown that preceded the town lighting up just before 5pm.

The day’s events started with children’s activities stretching throughout the High Street and in the intu Uxbridge and Pavilions Shopping Centre, before a parade, led by the Father Christmas on his sleigh, formed at 4pm. Giant reindeer, stilt walkers, and the Yiewsley and West Drayton band then made their way throughout the town, accompanied by excited families.

The Christmas lights included a glowing blue and white decorated tree, as well as brightly coloured baubles around the intu entrance. The evening concluded with traditional carol singers outside The Piazza.

Last week also saw Uxbridge launch its first ever Christmas Market, where children can visit Father Christmas in his grotto while adults can browse through a selection of hand-crafted gifts and festive food.

Nina Hartock, 49, of St Johns Road, said shortly before the lights were switched on: “It’s a really lovely tradition, we’ve been coming here for years and years. Now with the Christmas market as well I think it’s really cool - it’s something that brings people in Uxbridge together.”

Cath Burns, 63, of Collingwood Road, said: “I think it’s really fun – its lovely to see everybody, all the families together, and enjoying the lights and stilt walkers and performers.”

Mayor Morgan called the event “fantastic” and praised “everyone coming together at the start of the Christmas celebrations.”

The fun continues as the intu Uxbridge Christmas Experience opens tomorrow, where shoppers young and old can enjoy four zones, including the Snow Zone and Gingerbread House. Once stickers from all zones have been collected, children can visit the Christmas Workshop, with opportunities to make Christmas cards, 3D snowflake decorations, and get a gift from Father Christmas. Sticker passports cost £5 and all proceeds to go to HALO Children’s Foundation.

Ryan Thomas returns to Hillingdon on Friday the 7th of December for the opening night of pantomime Peter Pan at the Beck Theatre, Hayes. Tickets range from £23 - £28.50 and you can get yours from

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