Internet stars Woody and Kleiny turn on Welwyn Garden City's Christmas lights
PUBLISHED: 19:44 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:25 28 November 2019
Social media stars Woody and Kleiny switched on the Welwyn Garden City Christmas lights on Saturday as families flocked to the town centre.
Thousands of people gathered in the town centre to watch the Christmas lights being switched on in wonderful Welwyn Garden City.
Dynamic duo Woody and Kleiny, who have become global sensations with their viral videos, got the crowds excited by giving away a £1,000 cash prize to a local family before doing the honours of switching on the lights and declaring the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Woody and Kleiny, who have nearly five millions followers on Instagram alone, were "blown away" by the reception.
The internet stars said: "Hey guys, want to say a huge thank you for the amazing reception we received the other night at the Christmas lights turn on.
"Everyone involved was very helpful and all who attended were in such great spirits.
"We have been blown away with the response from so many people and just want to say what a pleasure it was to be involved in the event!"
In their message, the YouTubers continued: "As you know we vlogged it for YouTube, so keep your eyes peeled this week for when the video lands!
"Until next time, thanks for having us, have a lovely Christmas and a smashing New Year!"
The event, organised by Welwyn Garden City BID with additional funding and support from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, has grown over the years to become a family tradition in Howardsgate and surrounding roadss.
Children got to meet Santa in his grotto, create magical Christmas tree decorations, get their photo taken with their favourite characters - all for free thanks to the generosity of the local businesses.
Entertainment on the main stage included a performance by FK Dance Academy duo James and Oliver, who earlier this year made the final of The Greatest Dancer on BBC One.
Snow White, Prince Benington and Queen Weleena from Campus West pantomime Snow White were also in the town centre, meeting shoppers and youngsters ahead of the show opening in Welwyn Garden City on Wednesday, December 11.
This year, WGC BID has added to the Christmas ambience in town with two standalone light installations, which have already become a destination in themselves.
The giant bauble, which is located in the main town square on Howardsgate, and the Christmas bear, which is outside Sainsbury's, create a great photo opportunity for all ages.
They are already proving to be a great success in supporting the local trade.
OJ Daya, chairman of the Welwyn Garden City BID, said: "The switch-on event is a milestone everyone looks forward to as it marks the start of the Christmas shopping season, and I am delighted to see it grow in numbers every year.
"The addition of the giant bauble and Christmas bear, combined with the amazing energy of Woody and Kleiny, made 2019 a Christmas event to remember.
"On behalf of the town centre businesses I'd like to thank everyone that attended and enjoyed the event and hope that you will support your town centre by shopping local this Christmas."
As WGC's centenary in 2020 draws closer, the BID's attention will be focused on supporting all the great events planned for the year, starting with the Garden City Lights event on Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18.