Thousands watch Bideford's Christmas light switch on 2012
THOUSANDS of people turned out on Sunday night to watch the Christmas lights being turned on in Bideford.
The annual event marking the start of the festive season in the town saw people flocking to The Quay despite the rain.
The lights were switched on at 5pm by Chloe Staddon, 12, Hunter Parton, 5, and James Skinner, 5, who are all suffering from serious illnesses and are part of the Children's Holiday Foundation.
The Mayor of Bideford Councillor Simon Inch and the event organiser Darren Sparrey were also in attendance.
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Darren, from the Bideford Christmas Committee, has been organising the event for six years.
He said: "The turn out was great, there were definitely thousands and I don't think the weather put anyone off.
"Next year were are hoping to be bigger and better again. This year The Voice were there for the first time and that worked really well.
"The reindeer are always a great attraction and we could never do it without Bideford Town Council funding the lights or without Phil Vanstone sorting out the fair rides."
Once the lights were on there was a reindeer procession through the town followed by a fireworks display on The Quay.