Families packed into the Piazza centre to see Santa and children’s TV star Dr Ranj turn on Huddersfield Christmas lights.

Tots were thrown on shoulders and prams lined up on the paths above the stage outside the library to watch the big switch on.

Santa himself made a spectacular entrance, abseiling down the side of the 100ft tall building.

CBeebies star Dr Ranj entertained the children with his songs about staying healthy, including the popular Poo Song.

The Kirklees Council event was hosted by Pulse FM and guests included Huddersfield Town mascot Terry the Terrier, singers and dancers from Kirklees College and solo act Tom Gee Band.

Watch Santa's abseil and more excitement from the lights switch on

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Parents said they had enjoyed the atmosphere at the early evening Christmas warm up.

Mark Hebder and his wife Hannah, brought their two-year-old Freya and friends from Marsh to see the BBC star.

“The kids are very excited to see Dr Ranj,” he said.

Elton and Becky Pick, both 40, brought their three children, Matilda, two, Eliza, four, and seven-year-old Martha.

Elton said the girls, who attend Lindley Infants School, were really excited to see the lights.

Katie Fallas and partner Stewart Carter-Waller travelled in from Kirkheaton with children Ithaca and Astin.

The youngsters enjoyed sweets and balloons given out by the Examiner promotions team.

“We came last year,” said Katie. “It’s a really nice atmosphere for families.”

Daniel Roebuck and Rose Stead from Marsden, both 26, left their eight-week-old baby Poppy at home with grandma so they could bring two-year-old Lily to see Santa.

Daniel added: “It’s good fun, it’s the first time I’ve heard Christmas songs this year.”

Kirklees’ next Christmas lights events are in Dewsbury on Wednesday and Batley on Saturday.

At the Dewsbury event, which begins at 3.45pm, there will be a special guest appearance by soap star Adam Thomas who plays Adam Barton in ITV’s Emmerdale – switching on the lights at 5.30pm.

In addition, at 6.15pm, there will be a special free screening of Disney’s Frozen at Dewsbury’s very own Community Cinema on South Street.

The Batley town centre event begins at 2pm and will feature singer Jade Helliwell with the lights turned on by Santa at 6pm.