Moment of truth: The Hairy Bikers switch the lights on.
The Mayor having a chin wag with the Hairy Bikers.
The Open Council are delighted to report that the whole event went without a hitch and everyone present had a fabulous time. A big thank you to all the stewards and officials that volunteered their time to look after everyone and to the Hairy Bikers for appearing for free.
After a prolonged chat with the Mayor the Hairy Bikers were ushered onto the stage to rapturous applause from the sea of revellers. Without further ado the popular cooks whipped the crowd up into a frenzy of excitement and then began the countdown. The lights came on to gasps of astonishment and whoops of joy from the 1000 strong crowd many of whom stayed to watch the Hairy Bikers sing a string of christmas carols. To see a video of the moment the lights were switched on click here.
The Mayor, led by his wife, head backstage to meet the Hairy Bikers who are being briefed on the left.
As the acts came and went the anticipation of seeing the hairy bikers increased steadily then reached fever pitch when rumours of their arrival swept like wild fire through the crowd. Rumors started when the popular Mayor could be seen rushing towards the backstage area fueling speculation that he was heading to meet the Hairy Bikers. This proved to be absolutely accurate as the image below testifies.
The walking lanes at the sides of the people pen were like motorways due to the good work of officials who neatly moved on dithering revellers and established an extra viewing pen. (left)
Record crowds attended the switch on this year.
With so many people out Newcastle City Council took the opportunity to promote their 'foster a future' campaign.
The crowd swelled as the entertainment got underway, leading some families with younger children to re-position themselves, a move which angered safety officials who were charged with keeping the pedestrians moving either side of the pen. Calm was restored as a new side pen was established for toddlers and pensioners.
Stampede: Our reporter was caught in the melee as the robot sped off towards the stage.
The dancing robot was wheeled out by officials to entertain members before the main acts took to the stage. The innovative robot, which is in use by council's all over the country, was designed with crowd control in mind. This was clear when in a scene reminiscent of the infamous multiple child abduction in Hamelin, Germany, the robot led the huge crowd around the monument and into position in front of the stage.
The robot can be seen on Grainger Street (above left) and then leading the crowd to the main stage on Grey Street. (above right)
There was a first class line up of entertainers on stage which included two singers, one man one woman, two radio personalities, also one man one woman and two panto stars, both men. But before they took to the stage the crowd were wowed by the shenanigans of a giant, all singing all dancing robot.

The Open Council were out to see all the goings on at the Christmas lights celebrations. Revellers from far and wide braved the yellow cold to watch the Hairy Bikers switch on the new lights. Organisers who were hoping for a record turn out were not disappointed as hundreds of members packed into the viewing pen at the Monument to enjoy the fun.

Christmas Lights Entertainment Bonanza

Open Council Policies

Orange Charming

Urban Gardening

Improvised Construction

Art Stories

Public Bonsai


Public Archery

Corner Busking

Manhole Dancing

Pond Swapping

Public Glockenspiel

Reflexology Paving

Open Buildings

School Projects

Bin Spreading

The Sea


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