PICTURES: Romford Market packed as Amelia Lily turns on Christmas lights
PUBLISHED: 07:58 15 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:25 20 November 2013
Christmas is finally here - well almost! Thousands of people wrapped up in hats and scarves last week to see X Factor star Amelia Lily perform and watch the Romford town centre Christmas lights switch-on.
Even Santa Claus decided to pop in to the packed Romford Market Place and led the crowd in a roaring rendition of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.
Doing the honours of switching on the lights in front of the 10,000 strong crowd was Havering Council leader Cllr Michael White, Mayor of Havering Cllr Eric Munday and singer Amelia.
Amelia, an X Finalist in 2011, also performed some of her own songs including the hit You Bring Me Joy and Party is Over.
Fellow X Factor contestant, Lydia Lucy, 20, of Collier Row performed songs including Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel and Jessie J’s hit single Domino.
Lydia said: “I get such a buzz from performing and everyone is always really nice so I was looking forward to the show and it’s been such a good night so far.”
Her performance was followed by an appearance by BBC Cbeebies characters Barnacles and Kwazii, who boogied to Party Rock by LMFAO and then went on search of a mysterious creature on stage with the help of the audience.
Characters from pantomime Dick Whittington, Alderman Fitzwarren and dame Sarah the Cook from Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch also made an appearance.
Kevin Palmer, 31, from Harold Hill, took his two daughters Chloe Leigh Palmer, nine, and Sophie Sherrie Palmer, six, to see the show and said they really enjoyed watching the fireworks.
Kevin said: “We’ve been coming to the show every year for the past three years and it’s always good but we’ve really enjoyed tonight.”
The show organised by Havering Council also included fake snow blown over the crowds.