Families enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display at the town’s Christmas lights switch-on in Ashton-under-Lyne on Sunday evening
An estimated 10,000 people ushered in the festive season with a carnival of light, laughter and music in Tameside.
Crowds lined the streets of Ashton to watch the ‘Winter Wonderland’ lantern parade and a spectacular fireworks display lit up the skies above Ashton market ground.
The seasonal display was officially opened by Tameside mayor Dawson Lane, while families were also entertained with the borough’s brass and military bands, Christmas carols and a guest appearance by Father Christmas.
Sunday’s celebrations coincided with the official opening of Tameside Christmas Market which returns for a second year with 30 stalls, housed in traditional wooden cabins, along both sides of the market hall.
An ice rink, ferris wheel and covered bar are also among the attractions as well as a feast of festive food.
Deputy council leader John Taylor said: “Huge thanks to the many thousands of people from across Tameside who came out to support the festivities. The atmosphere and community spirit was wonderful and I’m sure thousands more people will be visiting to shop and enjoy everything the Christmas market has to offer over the coming weeks.
“This event is a community celebration for the whole of Tameside to enjoy while also boosting the local economy by encouraging shoppers from both within the borough and beyond. I would encourage everyone to come along and soak up the wonderful, festive atmosphere while supporting local businesses.”
The Christmas market runs until December 21 and is open 10am to 7.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 9.30pm Thursday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.
A royal visit is planned for Tuesday, December 2, when Frozen’s Princess Elsa officially opens the synthetic ice rink.
She will be singing on stage and posing for pictures from 4pm before opening the rink at 4.45pm. Skating tickets are £5 for adults and £3.50 for under 16s with special rates available for families and bigger groups.
There will be live entertainment every day. For more details of what’s on visit tamesidechristmasmarket.co.uk/whats-on.
Photos by Mark Waugh.