Bideford Christmas Lights were switched on yesterday (Sunday) with a festive explosion of Santas on the Run, street entertainment and more.

Hundreds of Santas swarmed the streets for the ‘best ever’ Santas on the Run yesterday (Sunday) as part of Bideford’s Christmas Light Switch On.

The town’s streets were packed as onlookers cheered the sea of red runners who made their way around Victoria Park.

Sue Mills, from Children’s Hospice South West, said it was the busiest run the charity had seen, with 401 Santas running and more than £7,000 raised so far.

And they're off! The start of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAnd they're off! The start of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

“I think we’ve had 400 people sign up, and last year we had 277; there has been huge support this year,” she said.

As well as the Santa run, there was street entertainment, aerial artists, and a chance to meeet Father Christmas thanks to Bideford Round Table.

Thousands of people then gathered on the Quay and up Bideford High Street to watch the lights get switched on at 5pm.

Aerial artists took centre stage at Bideford Christmas lights on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAerial artists took centre stage at Bideford Christmas lights on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The lights were switched on by Alisha-Kelly Tatten, aged 10 from Bideford, on behalf of Children’s Hospice South West.

Scroll down for more photos from the light switch on and Santas on the Run.

Gazette reporters Matt Smart and Sarah Howells with the Bideford Round Table Father Christmas, ahead of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsGazette reporters Matt Smart and Sarah Howells with the Bideford Round Table Father Christmas, ahead of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Choirs took to the stage throghout the day at Bideford Christmas Lights switch on this Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsChoirs took to the stage throghout the day at Bideford Christmas Lights switch on this Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Mayor and mayoress Dermot and Sarah McGeough at Bideford Christmas lights on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsMayor and mayoress Dermot and Sarah McGeough at Bideford Christmas lights on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Mayor Dermot McGeough gives out medals at the finish line of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsMayor Dermot McGeough gives out medals at the finish line of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Mayor Dermot McGeough gives out medals  at the finish line of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsMayor Dermot McGeough gives out medals at the finish line of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Mayor Dermot McGeough gives out medals  at the finish line of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsMayor Dermot McGeough gives out medals at the finish line of the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

At the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAt the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Graham HobbsThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

At the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAt the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Higher Beings provided lots of fun at Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsHigher Beings provided lots of fun at Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

At the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAt the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

At the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAt the finish line of the Santas on the Run event in Bideford on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

All the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the action from Bideford Christmas lights and the Children's Hospice South West Santas on the Run on Sunday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery

The Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon ElleryThe Christmas lights are officially switched on in Bideford. Picture: Simon Ellery