Christmas has arrived with a bang at Cheshire Oaks shopping park after an event to mark the beginning of the festive season.
Visitors were treated to a spectacular light display at the McArthurGlen designer outlet in Ellesmere Port, with hundreds turning out to see what is claimed to be the tallest artificial tree in Europe sparkle.
The tree itself has more than 100,000 lights, and families gathered as Radio City’s Leanne Campbell and Dave Kelly began the countdown to the big switch-on, before a special display from fireworks champions, Blitz.
‘Christmas Corner’ has returned at Cheshire Oaks for another year, offering an après-themed bar, German delicacies, and traditional decorations.
Wednesday night also saw Liverpool’s indie pop band, Clean Cut Kid perform songs from their debut album, Felt. They have supported the likes of The Courteeners, The Kooks and The Killers on tour.
YouTube: Jo Cunliffe, JMU Journalism
Laura Percival, 27, from Ellesmere Port came along with her two children. She told JMU Journalism: “I’ve brought the kids with me and they’re loving it It’s so busy, much busier than I thought, but it is a really nice atmosphere.”
Julianne Cooper, 46, from Elton, was another big fan, telling JMU Journalism: “I love the tree, it’s massive. The music and the lights make it feel so much warmer than it is. Delicious food, free cheese and hot choccy – what more could you want?
“I can’t wait for Christmas now!”
This year, McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks will be supporting the NSPCC as their chosen charity for the festive season.
The centre’s renowned walk-in Christmas tree will be staffed by local volunteers, and although entrance is free, a donation is suggested to support the charity’s work.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “We are delighted that McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks have chosen to support us in our fight for every childhood.
“Every penny donated will go towards helping to protect children in Cheshire and across the country.”