SLIDESHOW: Extravaganza welcomes in festive season

CHRISTMAS officially started in Arbroath on Friday when the town was lit up in festive lights.

For the second year running, a Christmas Extravaganza event was held on the High Street from mid afternoon which culminated in the arrival of Santa Claus and the switching on of the Christmas lights display.

Success the count down worked and the Arbroath Christmas lights are on with Roddy Campbell, Sarah Smart and santa.

Success the count down worked and the Arbroath Christmas lights are on with Roddy Campbell, Sarah Smart and santa.

Around 3,000 people packed into Kirk Square and the surrounding area to witness Santa and his helpers Roddy Campbell, the standard bearer from the East of Scotland Royal Marines Association, and Sarah Smart flick the switch.

The event also saw dance performances, singing, a fun fair and Christmas market stalls set up by local traders.

It was an early start for the organisers Arbroath Events on Friday when they joined forces with the Rotary Club and Round Table to erect the market stalls and road closure signs provided by Tayside Contracts.

A stage was supplied by Harry Simpson of Mackays Boatbuilders and Jim O’Brien provided the colourful funfair.

Santa hands out sweets to the waiting children at the turn on of the Arbroath Chriatmas lights on Friday.

Santa hands out sweets to the waiting children at the turn on of the Arbroath Chriatmas lights on Friday.

Jivin’ Jim then got the party started playing some festive tunes and soon the growing crowd was enjoying the party atmosphere.

Stewards were provided by Arbroath FC, Arbroath Events, the Rotary Club and Round Table, who treated children with sweets from their buckets which were provided by Nickel and Dime.

At 5 p.m., a stunning dance routine by Showcase the Street delighted the crowd and they were followed by the Rotary Club choir who sang Christmas carols ready for Santa’s arrival.

Tayside Fire and Rescue then helped to bring Santa into Kirk Square from Commerce Street, where he started the countdown alongside his two helpers Roddy and Sarah.

Crowds turned out fior the turning on of the Arbroath town Christmas lights on Friday.

Crowds turned out fior the turning on of the Arbroath town Christmas lights on Friday.

And after flicking the switch at 6 p.m., the Kirk Square Christmas tree and High Street lights then lit up the town.

One of the organisers Councillor David Fairweather said: “It makes it all worthwhile when you see the happy faces of children and adults alike and see the event coming together for the benefit of the community.

“I have to extend thanks to the police, ambulance service and the High Street and market traders who all helped make this another community event to remember.

“Without all these people’s contributions this event simply would not go ahead and may I also thank the public for a collection of over £200, which will help with the costs.

“I would also like to wish next year’s organisers the same success.”