THOUSANDS of people turned out on Windsor Road, Penarth, on Sunday afternoon to see the Christmas lights being switched on.

Lucy Owen, BBC Wales News and X-ray presenter greeted the crowds and opened the show before handing over to local talent Ellie Jamieson with her performance of Hallelujah and To Make You Feel My Love.

The crowds were drawing in as the sun was setting, with fun for all the family at the festive event, with plenty of children’s activities and an appearance from Father Christmas himself.

Children enjoyed a number of fairground rides and Vale Youth Service brought their new mobile youth club bus.

Families were invited to make personalised pyrographed Christmas wooden decorations, a service which was provided by Eggseeds.

Along with that, Penarth Coast Guard and RNLI Penarth were also in attendance with a display of their fantastic vehicles.

Tabernacle Church treated everyone to their live manger scene and handed out complimentary hot drinks and mince pies, while a Bar 44 elf walked Windsor Road distributing tapas tasters and hot chocolate.

3D Brass were a welcome addition to the line-up, playing not only traditional Christmas tunes, but also a selection of current favourites and chart toppers.

Mayor Councillor Jon Luxton presented the Penarth in Bloom Christmas Planter Award to Tony’s for the best decorated Christmas Tree, who won the title alongside ACJ.

It is estimated that around 4,000 people attended the event.

Father Christmas was wandering around the street engaging with all children, having photos taken and collecting letters.

At 5.30pm the main event took place as Wales, and Cardiff Blues rugby star Josh Navidi took to the stage with Lucy following a Q+A, to switch on the lights.

Following the light switch-on, X-Factor Judges Houses contestant James Williams wowed the crowds with Christmas singalongs as well as show tunes including A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.

Josh Navidi said: “It’s great to be a part of this event.

“I was delighted to have been invited to attend and I can’t believe the crowds that have turned out to support such a fantastic event and celebrate the start of the festive season in such great spirit,” he said.

Town clerk Emma Boylan said: “Our thanks to all who took part and experienced this great event.

“Warm wishes from Penarth Town Council to the town and its visitors this Christmas.”

Peter Leckie, Genero Group managing director, added: “It was great to round off this year’s Penarth Town Council calendar of events with some Christmas magic, and it has been fantastic to receive such great support from the local community.”