STEPS star Faye Tozer lit up Sunderland when she switched on the city’s Christmas lights.
The 90s pop star was joined by Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, in flicking the switch at the event, which was held at the Crowtree site for the first time.
Also lighting up the night sky on Wearside was a firework display, with rockets set off from the former Vaux site.
To kick start the hour-long celebrations the children from East Herrington Primary Academy performed their version of Let it Go from the hit Disney film Frozen.
The younger children were followed by Eclipse, the Southmoor Academy Choir, who performed beautiful songs including Hallelujah.
And, getting the crowds of thousands into the Christmas spirit was rhythm and blues band, The Revolutionaires, with lively renditions of Jingle Bells and Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.
Faye, 38, happily considers herself to be an adopted Mackem after moving to the region with Sunderland-born husband, Michael Smith, five years ago, and delighted the crowd by telling them she’s a Black Cats fan.
Faye, who lives in West Boldon, said: “I was delighted to be a part of this year’s Christmas Light switch on to celebrate the city’s improvements and bring the season in with a sparkle.”
Coun Porthouse will also be taking part in the switching on of the Washington Illuminations on Mondday, November 17, when they return to Concord’s Front Street.
The fun will start at 5.30pm with music and entertainment, as well as a visit from Santa.