Thousands of people packed out the Quay for the ‘biggest and best’ light switch on yet.

Bideford Christmas light switch on 2013.Bideford Christmas light switch on 2013.

BIDEFORD was lit up with Christmas cheer this afternoon (Sun) as thousands of people gathered to celebrate the annual light switch on.

Mayor Simon Inch said he thought it was the ‘biggest and best’ year yet with a ‘fantastic turnout’.

Cllr Inch said: “I’m very proud to say that the town council has funded the festive lights and contributed towards tonight’s event.

“This year we have added 40 new lights to make it the best year yet.

Stilt walkers at Bideford's light switch on entertain the crowds.Stilt walkers at Bideford's light switch on entertain the crowds.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of Darren Sparrey and the staff of DS Electricals.

“I have especially been asked to mention Mark Francis and Amy Beer.”

The afternoon’s entertainment was hosted by Hopps and Chapple, with performances from Bideford Youth Pipe Band, Bideford Town Band, Kingsley School Choir and St Mary’s School Choir.

This year also saw the first Santa Fun Run for the Children’s Hospice South West take place during the afternoon.

At 5pm, thousands gathered in front of the stage to count down to the switch on, before a reindeer parade through the town and fireworks for the finale.

To see more photos from the switch on, click the galleries on the right of the page.