Wide-eyed, the residents of Wigton saw their town transformed into a festive wonderland in just a few magical hours - with some celebrity support.

The Christmas lights switch-on, this year headlined by X Factor winners Rak-Su, is one of the biggest events held in the town each year, with hundreds of people turning out for a big concert to celebrate the occasion.

And yesterday it certainly looked a lot like Christmas with the official countdown starting.

This year’s lights switch-on was highly praised by Wigton festival committee.

Sandra Keaveney, a volunteer for the group, said: “Everyone is happy with how its been set up.

“It all went smoothly. We’re excited for the day.

“It’s going to be a busy. The lights switch-on is always a busy one.

“As always Wigton does a fabulous job of putting on the lights. People always go above and beyond.

“We put on a great show. It’s great to see every year we keep sustaining it.”

Residents and visitors were able to enjoy Santa’s grotto in Wigton Library, take in a selection of street performers and indulge themselves in a festive market, as well as the funfair on Water Street carpark.

Throughout the afternoon acts performed on the stage in front of the Fountain.

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist La Voix, Matt Pagan and Robbie Dee with the Sands Centre’s panto cast, Allan Jay, Room 101, Zing and Carlisle Dance Academy wowed crowds.

Crowds were excited to see Rak-Su perform. Three of the four members entertained crowds for over 15 minutes before the lights were turned on just after 5.30pm.

Jonathan Higgins from Link4Life has been organising the switch-on in conjunction with Wigton town council.

He recently moved Manchester having lived in Carlisle for most of his life.

He said: “It’s great to still be doing gigs in the area. This is the ninth year. The council asked me to organise it again. I work for a cultural charity now, so it seems fitting to be back organising this.”