Boxing champion Savannah Marshall and X Factor star Molly Scott joined forces with three inspirational youngsters to turn on the Hartlepool Christmas lights.
The rainy night failed to dampen the festive spirit, with large crowds turning out to the annual event in Church Square to enjoy a range of musical entertainment.
Miss Toni’s Academy Choir sang Christmas classics, while Newcastle singer Channy Thompson got the crowd going with a number of hits.
Durham City acoustic trio North Road also performed ahead of the big switch on.
Turning on the lights was brave youngster Dottie O’Keefe, who is making amazing progress to walk despite having cerebral palsy, Keep Britain Tidy Litter Hero Jessica Stones and 12-year-old Neisha Webb who has become a talented cheerleader against the odds, with the help of a prosthetic blade.
Easington singer Molly Scott, and town boxing champion Savannah Marshall also joined the Mayor, Councillor Allan Barclay in pressing the button.
Coun Barclay said: “It is a fantastic event and great to see all the kids come together.
“It is also a great advertisement for Church Street and Church Square.”
Over the past year Church Street and Church Square have undergone a £3.4million council scheme to revitalise the area.
X Factor star Molly Scott said: “It is lovely to be back home and have a bit of down time, especially with it being near to Christmas.
“It is nice to be here today to switch on the lights.
“I went to school in Hartlepool and I know a few people here tonight.”
Meanwhile Neisha Webb’s proud mum Liz Webb said Neisha being asked to turn on the Christmas lights has come as a lovely surprise. She said: “It is great to see so many people come along.”