Photo gallery: Christmas lights up Castle Mall in Norwich

Castle Mall Christmas ExtravaganzaPicture by SIMON FINLAY.

Castle Mall Christmas ExtravaganzaPicture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Real-life reindeer brought some authentic Christmas cheer to the official launch of the festive lights at a city centre shopping mall.

The lights at Castle Mall were greeted by crowds of children and parents who thronged the centre from 3.30pm right through to 8pm yesterday.

As well as Father Christmas's favourite animals, the event included Mike the Knight making personal appearances, Christmas workshops, face painting, balloon animals, and Santa's magical grotto.

The decorations throughout the centre included stars and tempting presents dangling from the ceiling, as well as reindeer decorated with festive blue lights.

Arron Thompson, eight, from Sprowston Road, Norwich, enjoyed the fun with his friend Alfie Potter.

Arron enjoyed painting a wooden penguin decoration in blue and green, with a glittering star.

He said he had enjoyed meeting the live reindeer, although they were not eating carrots.

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Rhianna Dashwood, five, from Sprowston, said: 'I like the lights. They are pretty.'

The event saw long queues for the grotto, as well as a giant snow globe complete with a sleigh being pulled by a reindeer, late into the evening.

Emma King, of Daisy Entertainment, a Norwich-based, family-run, business, helped children create their own decorations.

She said: 'It has been fantastic. I think the kids have loved it.

'We have been making Christmas door hangers and wooden decorations. The parents are particularly happy because they can be used year after year.

'Everybody has loved the lights. A lot of parents have said it was a very relaxed event. The kids have had a very good time.'

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