Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 10:00
THE COUNTDOWN to Christmas has begun after the lights were switched on at the weekend.
This year's Christmas lights are now brightening up Solihull after they were switched on by Santa and some special guests on Saturday.
There was an afternoon of activities in Mell Square leading up to the big switch-on including a parade which featured people dressed as characters from children's stories.
And Santa took along his reindeer and penguins to greet children in his grotto in Touchwood where he will be everyday until Christmas Eve.
Observer photographer Jon Mullis took these photos at the event.
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