THOUSANDS of people turned out for a dazzling Christmas event in Bridgwater.

Snowflakes & Shopping saw the town centre turned into a winter wonderland as the Christmas lights were switched on, complete with a dazzling fireworks display and squibbing on the town bridge.

The lights were switched on by young Hayden Burland, who won the chance to take to the stage in a Mercury competition - which also saw him win a new bike, courtesy of Halfords.

And the crowds were dazzled after Hayden dipped the plunger for the big switch-on, with a dazzling fireworks display illuminating the skies over Bridgwater.

Later, the focus of attention moved to the town bridge, where around 50 people, including fellow competition winner Jason Gould and Mercury editor Paul Jones took part in a spectacular squibbing display.

The event marks the start of the Christmas period in Bridgwater town centre and featured a raft of activities for visitors young and old, including fairground rides and music hosted by Sedgemoor FM's Dave Englefield.

Mercury editor Mr Jones said: "It was fantastic to see so many people turn out for the event.

"Christmas has certainly arrived in style in Bridgwater and the Mercury was delighted to be involved.

"I was slightly nervous ahead of making my squibbing debut, but with the help of fellow squibbers, it was an experience I will savour for a long time.

"Congratulations all on a great event."

Look out for more pictures from Snowflakes and Shopping online and in your Bridgwater Mercury on Tuesday.