HUNDREDS of people heralded the run-up to Christmas as Barry’s High Street traders put on a display of lights and entertainment.

Crowds descended on the popular retail area on Friday, November 16 – making it the first retail area in Barry to host a Christmas lights switch-on.

Traders in Park Crescent will follow suit tomorrow on Friday, November 23 with Holton Road and King Square lighting up on Saturday, November 24.

11th Barry Beavers, based at Illminster Street, switched on the lights – assisted by Doctor Bob and Santa Claus.

Vale MP Alun Cairns and Vale AM Jane Hutt also took to the stage and addressed the crowd.

High Street Traders Association chairman Anthony Hopkins said: “For an event that we thought wasn’t going to happen, what a turn out. The public did us proud. In all my 34 years in High Street I’ve never seen crowds like it for our Christmas Market and Light Switch On. It was unbelievable.

“Thank you to everyone who donated to our fundraising campaign, you made the event possible and seeing crowds like that makes all of the hard work worthwhile.

“When you see all the bad news about shops closing in High Streets around the country, we must be doing something right. We’re seeing new shops opening.

“On Friday Cocoa Therapy, our very own chocolatier opened its doors and this Friday sees the opening of Meticulous Beauty & Skin Clinic, there’s a buzz in our High Street things are definitely on the up.

Mr Hopkins thanked his daughter Jade who organised practically everything for him, Barry Town Council, 11th Barry Sea Scout Beavers who helped Santa turn the lights on, Sarah Jones, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Andy Johnson, sound man, Llantwit Major events group, South Wales Police, the acts and entertainers, High Street traders and the public.

Vale MP Alun Cairns said: “I want to congratulate the local traders and the traders association, who have worked so hard to make sure that once again the High Street Christmas market was a huge success.

“It was great to see such a massive turn-out and also see the 11th Barry Sea Scouts turn on the lights this year.

“Events like this highlight the quality shops on our doorstep and I’m sure that people locally will continue to support them as they head out to do their Christmas shopping over the coming weeks.”

Vale AM Jane Hutt added: “I started my Christmas shopping on Friday, November 16 in Barry’s High Street as the traders laid on an afternoon of entertainment, stalls and shopping treats before the lights were switched.

“The street looked wonderful with children singing and shops offering mince pies and refreshments.

“The newest businesses attracted great interest from the shoppers who poured in to welcome the annual Christmas lights festivities. Thank you Barry High Street traders.”