MORE than 15,000 people packed into George Square to see Glasgow get lit up with a bang at its Christmas lights switch-on.

As the switch was flicked and the lights suddenly shone in an array of colours, the crowd turned their eyes to the sky above the City Chambers. They saw a superb fireworks display to a Christmas medley that kicked off with Mariah Carey's classic, All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, with the help of young siblings Liam and Beth Lindsay, and star guests Olympic bronze medallist Beth Tweddle and Santa Claus, pressed the switch for the first time since starting in her role as Glasgow's first citizen.

Beth, 8, said: "At first, I felt nervous but then I felt really happy." Liam, 4, added: "It was good."

There was a sporting theme to this years' switch-on as gymnasts from the Glasgow School Of Sport performed acrobatic feats to give a taster of the upcoming World Cup Gymnastics event in the Emirates Arena on December 8.

Gymnast Beth said it was a "big honour" to be part of the switch-on team.

The evening, hosted by Clyde 1 DJs George Bowie and Suzie McGuire, was packed with entertainment, including Christmas songs performed by the RSNO Choir and a guest appearance from Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde, who did a dance with performers from Destination Dance.

The cast of this years' Pavilion Theatre pantomime The Wizard Of Never Woz, including Michelle McManus, Stephen Purdon and Dean Park, entertained guests, dressed in their full pantomime costumes.

Evening Times columnist Michelle said: "It is a big honour. Standing on the stage looking at the weans who think I am the good witch - it is buzzing."

Dean added: "It is a fantastic honour to be asked to switch on the lights in my home city."

The ballot for the free tickets to attend the switch-on was more than five times over-subscribed, with 78,000 requests.

Evening Times' competition winners Nicola Clark, 44, husband Alan, 46, and children Ryan, 15, and Sara, 13, from East Kilbride, thought they were going to miss out for the first time since the children were tiny.

Mrs Clark said: "We missed out on the ballot so when we won the competition we were delighted. We have been coming since the kids were toddlers."

Children dressed in reindeer antlers and Santa hats waved flashing light wands and glow sticks as the crowds sang along to the catchy Christmas tunes and cheered on the entertainers.

Erin Nelson, 3, dressed in a Santa outfit for the occasion, which she attended with mum Marion Buddy, 28, and brother Shaun-Paul, 5, from Parkhead.

Nine-year-olds Carly Drever and Ellie Hendry, from Cambuslang, dressed up with antlers and flashing red noses.

The lights switch-on was part of the Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign, which highlights the city's shopping and includes a programme of festive events.