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The funny priest tells a couple of jokes.
Like before: The dignitaries make there way outside to take up their new positions.
From the civic centre to the river: The children's parade to the Baltic caused brief chaos on Northumberland Street.
The Lord Mayor of Bergen's speech and the 'lights on' moment was captured in full.
The party of dignitaries took everyone by suprise as they paraded down the stairs to the sound of Ding Dong Merrily on High.
Result: This years lights compliment the civic centre perfectly.
Five Norwegian geordies sing a string of xmas songs.
Two workers test the lights before the mayor arrives.
Councillor Michael Cookson makes his first christmas speech.
The priest consoles Cllr David Wood who was ousted from his position of mayer earlier in the year.
The brass band in action during rehearsal before.
Before and after shots of the Norwegian tree.
To see last years 'lights on' report click here.

A large portion of the assembled crowd were poised to set off on a charity parade to the Quayside to visit the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. The parade was lead by a first class marching band which made there way through a crowded Northumberland Street on their way to the river, but before they could set off, the christmas tree ceremony had to be brought to a close with the traditional blessing of the tree.

 

It was hearts in mouths time as the Mayor of Bergen finally applied downward pressure onto the light switch. In front of a crowd of hundreds and an army of camera crews and photographers the lights on the friendship tree burst on to a mixture of gasps from the crowd and sighs of relief from officials.
The Mayor of Newcastle said a few words then made way for the Mayor of Bergen who gave an extensive speech detailing the process of selecting and cutting the tree.
The crowd were moved as the respective Mayor's stepped up to the purpose built platform, flanked by two officials and followed by the brass band who were rushing out with their instruments.
While the service in the Civic Centre was taking place workmen were busy testing the equipment and waiting for the two mayors to emerge.
The next day it was as if it never happened as there was absolutely no trace of the previous nights festivities.
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The exclusive civic ceremony was brought to a close with a rousing rendition of a traditional Norwegian christmas song by a local Norwegian woman followed by one last prayer and a few more cracks from the comical priest who sent everyone away with smiles etched on faces.

The Mayors and dignitaries were introduced by a lively priest who had the crowd bent double with laughter with a first class repertoire of jokes and anecdotes.

The formalities got underway with a speech by the Mayor of Newcastle followed by a counter speech by the Mayor of Bergen after which heads were bowed to hear the comical priest say the Lords Prayer.

The Newcastle Schools Brass Ensemble assembled on the second floor and improvised over a string of christmas carols to entertain the gathering while the Mayor of Newcastle got changed into costume.
Our reporter gained access to the exclusive gathering of councillors and local dignitaries who assembled to hear the two Mayors speak inside the Civic Centre. A program of carols, speeches, music and prayer was then rolled out for the members and guests to enjoy before going outside to stand next to the tree.

The Open Council were out to see the Mayor of Bergen turn on the Christmas tree lights at the Civic Centre. Our reporter arrived early to watch the preparations and to attend the Christmas prayer service at the Civic Centre.

Just like last year the controversy about the quality of the tree was put to one side and everyone enjoyed the night as hundreds turned out.

Christmas Tree Lights On at the Civic Centre.