Let it glow! Crowds gather to see Sunderland Christmas lights switch-on

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The Voice star Chloe Castro shone in Sunderland as she switched on the city’s Christmas lights.

The young singing sensation, known for her impressive performance on the hit BBC1 TV show earlier this year, wowed the crowds gathered in Keel Square when she took to the stage to sing.

Pictued switcing on the City's Christmas Lights in Keel Square are, from left, Empire Panto star Faye Tozer, singer Chloe Castro, The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson and Empire Panto star Amy Leigh Hickman.

Pictued switcing on the City's Christmas Lights in Keel Square are, from left, Empire Panto star Faye Tozer, singer Chloe Castro, The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson and Empire Panto star Amy Leigh Hickman.

Families turned out to see the festive lights shine bright and enjoy performances from Hetton Lyons Primary School Choir, Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School Choir and girl group The Songbirds.

County Durham-based vocalist Chloe was joined by a host of other stars who got the crowd going in the build-up to the big event.

Interviewed live on stage were the stars of this year’s Sunderland Empire pantomime Sleeping Beauty – Faye Tozer, from 90s pop group Steps, and Amy Leigh Hickman, former star of CBBC show Tracey Beaker Returns.

Chloe was then joined on stage for the big switch-on by Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Alan Emerson, who said the event was a highlight in the city’s calendar each year.

Chloe Castro entertains crowds at the switch on of Sunderland's Christmas lights.

Chloe Castro entertains crowds at the switch on of Sunderland's Christmas lights.

He said: “Our city’s festive lights will help to keep the city centre shining bright throughout the dark nights leading up to Christmas.

“Both the lights and the switch-on event are part of Sunderland City Councils work to make our city as attractive as possible this Christmas to shoppers and visitors, supporting local business and encouraging more people to use our city.”

Chloe, who shot to fame during her appearances on the show before pulling out for health reasons at the quarter final stages, said she was delighted to be there.

She said: “It meant a lot to be asked to do the light switch on.

Crowds turn out to see the Christmas lights switched on in Sunderland.

Crowds turn out to see the Christmas lights switched on in Sunderland.

“I love doing things like this and it’s nice to keep things going since The Voice.

“It was lovely to see the crowd and all their smiling faces.”

Once the lights were on, crowds were then treated to a fireworks display, which brought the event to a close.

Pictured switching on the city's Christmas Lights in Keel Square are, from left, Empire Panto star Faye Tozer, singer Chloe Castro, The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson and Empire Panto star Amy Leigh Hickman.

Pictured switching on the city's Christmas Lights in Keel Square are, from left, Empire Panto star Faye Tozer, singer Chloe Castro, The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson and Empire Panto star Amy Leigh Hickman.