PANTO stars, a children’s choir and a drag star brought some Christmas sparkle to the city last night, with the switch-on of a shopping centre’s festive lights.

The Coppergate Centre launched its Christmas display with a grand switch-on just before 6.30pm.

The festivities kicked off an hour earlier with the choir of Appleton Roebuck Primary School.

Radio presenters Anna Wallace and Adam Tomlinson were then joined by the cast of the Rowntree Players’ Aladdin, which opens at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on Saturday, November 9. Entertainment also came from “magic ball man” York’s Icicle King, and Velma Celli.

Many of the centre’s shops will now be open late on Thursday evenings until Christmas, with a special week-long late night opening from December 18 to 23. Shoppers will also be able to take advantage of free parking in Piccadilly car park on Thursdays and Fridays from 6pm to 9pm, thanks to York BID.