AN ESTIMATED 3,000 people got in the festive spirit and packed the High Street on Thursday as the town’s Christmas lights were officially switched on.
After the absence of a switch on ceremony for the past three years, Councillor David Fairweather, along with the help of High Street traders and other groups, organised a Christmas extravaganza which lasted all afternoon.
Part of the main street was closed off to traffic so people could browse the festive stalls and enjoy the funfair before Santa Claus arrived at 6 p.m., handing out sweets donated by the new Asda store.
Helping Santa flick the switch was Arbroath Football Club’s manager, Paul Sheerin, who had the honour of lighting up the Christmas tree in Kirk Square.
This is in addition to the brand new lights that are lining the central part of the town for the first time this year.
Councillor Fairweather was delighted by the number of people who braved the cold to support the event and said it was the perfect way to bring in the festive period in the town.
He said: “There was a terrific atmosphere and everything was superb. You could just tell how much everybody was enjoying it.
“We had Paul Sheerin, as a special guest to help Santa switch the lights on and it was a fantastic night.
“The general consensus is that these brand new lights are stunning and having Santa and Paul Sheerin turn them on was a fitting finale to the night.”
A regeneration group has been working to bring the High Street back to life after the closure of several high profile stores.
And with shoppers eager to buy last minute Christmas gifts, Councillor Fairweather is hoping the event will have opened people’s eyes as to what the High Street has to offer.
He added: “As we had 3,000 people in the High Street, hopefully this will generate a lot of repeat business for the shops and let people know what choices there are in the centre of town.
“You hear all about doom and gloom but on Thursday the High Street was vibrant.”