Christmas lights switch on is tonight

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A BUMPER crowd is expected to fill Kirk Square and the High Street tonight (Friday) as the big Christmas lights switch on takes place.

Organisers have once again arranged a switch on ceremony after the event was revived last year, which saw 3,000 people watch Arbroath manager Paul Sheerin flip the switch.

And tonight, it is hoped even more people will come to see the Kirk Square tree lit up as well as enjoy the festive fare and stalls on offer.

One of the organisers Councillor David Fairweather said: “Everything is in place and we are ready for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit.

“We estimate that around 3,000 people came down last year and we are hoping it will be a similar turn out.

“The weather forecast is good and it promises to be a real community event.

The fun kicks off around 3 p.m. when there will be a funfair and stalls in the High Street selling crafts and jewellery as well as DJ Jivin’ Jim playing songs.

Around 5 p.m., there will be dance performances by Showcase the Street and the Rotary choir will entertain with Christmas carols.

At 5.45 p.m. Santa Claus will make his way to Kirk Square from Commerce Street aided by Tayside Fire and Rescue.

Then at 6 p.m. he will be joined by a special guest and together they will make the town light up.

Many of the High Street shops are also staying open later and Councillor Fairweather also believes the event will be a great showcase for the town centre.

He added: “A lot of people who came down last year didn’t know the type of shops we have on offer in our High Street and a lot said they would use them more often.

“Hopefully we can do the same again this year, show people what is available and get more people into the High Street into the New Year.”

When the Christmas lights switch on ceremony returned last year, with it came brand new lights and features not only for the High Street but also for the West Port and Millgate.

Cash from the Common Good fund was used to purchase the illuminations after previous Arbroath displays were branded the worst in Angus.

But Councillor Fairweather hopes the lights are now something the people of Arbroath can be proud of.

He explained: “Our Christmas lights are now superb and we will also be taking donations tonight to help with their upkeep and maintenance.

“Official collectors with buckets will be around for donations and all buckets will have the official poster on them.

“And as a bit of fun for the children, the poster has a deliberate mistake on it, so if they can spot it they can hand their name and contact details to the collector and one lucky child’s name will be drawn out of the hat and they will win a nice card with a crisp £20 note in it.”

l Remember to visit our very own Christmas website for handy hints and tips on how to survive this year’s festive season.