The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Hun­dreds line streets as fes­tive colours light city

● Torch­light pa­rade and pipe bands add spe­cial feel to oc­ca­sion

- BY CHRIS MACLEN­NAN Celebrations · Inverness · Eastgate

Hun­dreds lined the streets of In­ver­ness last night as a torch­light pro­ces­sion marked the Christ­mas lights switch-on event.

Young chil­dren and fam­i­lies were full of fes­tive cheer as the city was il­lu­mi­nated in the most spec­tac­u­lar colours.

Dozens gath­ered at Crown Pri­mary School near to the city cen­tre before de­part­ing with torches in hand, led by mem­bers of the City of In­ver­ness se­nior and youth pipe bands.

They paused at points

“It’s just lovely to see the won­der on the faces”

along High Street as each over­head dec­o­ra­tion was beamed full of colour, much to the ex­cite­ment of the gath­ered crowds.

De­spite an ap­pear­ance by The Grinch, spir­its were high among those gath­ered with seven-year-old Jack Al­lan of Dal­neigh Pri­mary School say­ing he “re­ally liked the lights on the Town House” as well as the mu­sic.

Un­der­tak­ing the hon­our of light­ing up the High­land cap­i­tal was provost of In­ver­ness He­len Carmichael and broad­caster Ni­cola McAl­ley.

Miss McAl­ley said: “This is the seventh year that I have been priv­i­leged to host the lights switch-on and it never loses any of its magic.

“It’s great to see peo­ple of all ages turn up to en­joy the oc­ca­sion and just lovely to see the won­der on the faces of lit­tle ones when they spot Santa and watch the twin­kling lights come to life.

“To me, it marks the start of the Christ­mas pe­riod and it’s lovely to be in­volved.”

The pro­ces­sion con­cluded out­side the In­ver­ness Town House, where this year’s colour scheme for the fes­tive pe­riod was un­veiled.

Ms Carmichael added:

“It’s just lovely to see the chil­dren’s faces light up. It’s so good to see so many gather and we man­aged to get a good evening where it was not too frosty and not too slippy un­der­foot.

“I would hope at this time of year that events like this unite peo­ple.

“The rest of the world seems to be ar­gu­ing with each other so it’s great to see mums, dads, grannies and grand­pas come out to en­joy the switch-on.

“It’s al­ways a great event in the cal­en­dar and may it con­tinue for many years to come.”

Funds gen­er­ated through the sale of torches are ear­marked to help High­land Coun­cil in the fund­ing of the In­ver­ness High­land Games.

The city was awash with fes­tive cheer as, ear­lier in the day, the Christ­mas grotto at the city’s East­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre was of­fi­cially opened, with Santa stop­ping by to greet the abun­dance of young­sters who ea­gerly awaited his ar­rival.

 ??  ?? SEA­SONAL SPIRIT: Crowds gather in In­ver­ness as a torch­lit pa­rade takes place for the of­fi­cial switch-on of the city’s Christ­mas lights
SEA­SONAL SPIRIT: Crowds gather in In­ver­ness as a torch­lit pa­rade takes place for the of­fi­cial switch-on of the city’s Christ­mas lights

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