MORE than 2,000 people packed Huddersfield town centre streets last night for the Festival of Light.
A spectacular night of lights ended with a staggering display of fireworks which lit up the snow-filled skies.
The crowds may have been shivering, but they were in good spirits.
After a comic opera penned by Barry Russell, of Holmfirth, and based on the buildings of St George's Square talking to one another, they were entertained by the Tower of Light.
The event, performed by Manchester- based arts group Walk the Plank, mixed lasers, sound and pyrotechnics to wow the masses.
The central point of the performance was the 30ft tower shrouded in light and flames - the perfect ending for an evening of switch-ons in Huddersfield.
The Piazza and Kingsgate festive lights were also turned on.
Alice Moorhouse, 36, of Birkby, said she was impressed with the size of the event.
"I did not really expect this many people to be here. I'm impressed; the fireworks were great."
Isabel, 29, and Alan Walker, 34, of Rastrick, brought four-year-old son Alex to watch the spectacular.
Isabel said: "He was a bit scared of Santa, but I think he liked the fireworks. I thought the whole event was very good.
"Not enough like this happens. Abroad it seems they are always celebrating and getting the people together. St George's Square is such a good space and it is nice to see it being used."
Earlier, on the Piazza, seven-year-old Chloe Ansley, of Oakes, officially started Christmas with the help of Huddersfield Town players Andy Booth, Lee Fowler, Ian Gray and Akpo Sodje and new Giants signing Brad Drew.
At the Kingsgate shopping centre Santa was on hand to flick the switch. The first child to see him in his grotto was one-year-old Cain-Lee Mallalieu, from Almondbury. Mum Lesley said: "It is brilliant. He has really enjoyed it."
And yesterday was the first chance shoppers got to take advantage of late night Christmas shopping. Last night's festivities also signalled the start of the 10-day Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.