Crowds gathered in Cleckheaton for the town's annual Christmas Lights Switch-On.Crowds gathered in Cleckheaton for the town's annual Christmas Lights Switch-On.
Crowds gathered in Cleckheaton for the town's annual Christmas Lights Switch-On.

Photo special: Cleckheaton Christmas Lights Switch-On

The countdown to the festive season has begun in north Kirklees as Cleckheaton became one of the first towns in the district to switch on its Christmas lights.

This year’s theme, which will continue at the 2023 event, was based on Elf Mania with families enjoying Christmas gift stalls, fairground rides, festive activities, as well as seasonal food and drink in a festival extravaganza on Saturday.

The lights were then switched on at 5pm by Father Christmas and Mrs Claus, accompanied by Star Wars Storm Troopers.

The MP for Batley and Spen, Kim Leadbeater, was also in attendance.

Mrs Claus, aka Nichola Garland, secretary of Spenborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce which organised the event, was “filled with pride” at the community coming together.

She said: “It just shows that a community can really come together to enjoy a family day. It was lovely to see so many families and grandparents with their grandchildren.

“Everyone came out together. It really has given me a load of pride. You only need to see some of the reactions on the photos and on social media. We got some lovely quotes and wonderful feedback.

“We were busy from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. We had a big crowd at the end but we had footfall throughout the day, and it’s that footfall that we want to happen in Cleckheaton regularly. The whole idea is to stop shopping on the internet and to get people shopping on their high street.

“It’s about getting people to come back into Cleckheaton. We have so much free parking. We are the only town in Kirklees that has this much amount of free parking.

“Come to our town - we have got restaurants, eateries, banks, building societies, shops and everything you could possibly want to buy,” she said

“We would love more people in the Chamber of Trade and Commerce as well. We need new blood and new ideas. For anyone who thinks they can bring anything to this event we are meeting on the second Monday in January at the Rose and Crown in Cleckheaton.”

To get you in the festive spirit, here are 35 photos taken from Cleckheaton’s Christmas Lights Switch-On by Stephen Garnett (Clockwork Photography).