IN PICTURES: Boston Christmas Lights Switch-on 2017

Hundreds gathered last night (Thursday) to celebrate the start of the festive season with Boston's Christmas Lights Switch-on events across the town centre.

With events taking place in the Market Place, Boston Stump, Pescod Square and Wide Bargate visitors found plenty to do before two events saw youngsters push the button to brighten the town.

Youngsters enjoy the Christmas in Boston display. Photo: John Aron

Youngsters enjoy the Christmas in Boston display. Photo: John Aron

Many of this year's have been organised by the Christmas in Boston group, with Pescod Square Shopping Centre organising its own event.

Hundreds of youngsters and their families also took part in the third Illuminate Parade through town.

The Christmas in Boston group has organised a series of new displays including lights on the Five Lamps, a new position in the Market Place for the main Christmas tree, additional decorated trees in and around town, a nativity scene and memorial lanterns.

Dylan Taylor, Chairman of Christmas in Boston, said: "I am pleased and proud. We couldn't have done it without the help we have received - from the county and borough councils, businesses, from people with skills who have freely given of their expertise and time and from members of the public who have contributed."

The group was formed after Boston Borough Council was criticised last year for a lacklustre event and has been working, with the support of the Boston Town Area Committee, for nearly the whole year to organise this year's display.

Coun Nigel Welton, chairman of BTAC, was on stage for the lights switch-on, which was done by three youngsters selected through a Christmas poetry competition.

A shortlist of 15 youngsters, who had written on the theme of Boston, Christmas and Me were whittled down to the three winners of Caitlin Grant, Evie Gilby and Hannah Woods

Coun Welton added: "What a turnout and what an event. It's all come together incredibly well. I have been so impressed by the way all involved have rallied to this cause. All credit to the Christmas in Boston group and the tremendous community support they have had."

Following the town centre switch-on, audiences headed over to Pescod Square where entertainment included the cast of this year's pantomime Cinderella and hosting by Endeavour Radio.

The button push was done by television's Catboy and a family selected through a competition held by the shopping centre on social media.

Photographer John Aron was out and about throughout the night and the video above includes some of the pictures he took.