A DASH of magic, a scattering of lights and a sea of bobble-hats flooded Whitehaven’s streets, as the town’s Christmas officially began.

With acts including an Ed Sheeran tribute, Soundwave choir, Sing Stars and more raising the community’s spirits as high as a Christmas tree star, the dazzling lights topped off the wonder of the evening.

Excited youngsters filled Lowther Street yesterday at the town council-funded event, desperate to catch a glimpse of special guests Captain Hook and Power Rangers, and the man-of-the-month, Santa.

And one cheeky tot who proudly “threw a snowball at Santa” was well-wrapped-up Lilly-Rae Burns, two, joined by her parents David Burns and Zia Dooley.

The Whitehaven family had spent the day exploring the stalls and, of course, meeting Santa and Mrs Claus at their grotto.

“I liked throwing a snowball at Santa,” little Lilly-Rae said, with a big grin.

But she still hopes to be on the nice list, and would like to find a mini ice cream truck under the tree on Christmas morning.

Also feeling the joy of Christmas on the chilly evening as ‘Sheeran’ did the honours of brightening the street was eight-year-old Isla Roberston, her little sister Blair, five, and parents Emma and Craig, also from Whitehaven.

With Isla very impressed with the twinkling lights, dad Craig said: “We come most years, and [the lights] seem to be getting bigger each time.”

Commenting on theevent last month, chairman of the Christmas Festivities Group, Charles Maudling, said: “We just seem to get bigger and better every year. There’s more lights to go up this year which will add to the festive fun.

“I know we can rely on the good people of Whitehaven and the surrounding areas to come down and enjoy it.”

He added his thanks to the town council for funding the Christmas lights and maintenance.