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Thousands turn out for Aberdeen Christmas lights switch-on

Aberdeen in the Christmas spirit. Photo: Kenny Elrick.
Aberdeen in the Christmas spirit. Photo: Kenny Elrick.

Aberdeen’s Christmas lights were turned on in spectacular style last night, with a little help from Santa, panto stars – and even Darth Vadar.

More than 10,000 people braved the cold to line Union Street as the city’s annual parade came to life for another year.

The Portlethen and District Pipe Band, their instruments draped in tinsel, led the procession from Albyn Place onto the main thoroughfare and down to the Castlegate.

There were cheers from the crowd as the new and improved set of colourful Christmas lights illuminated one-by-one when the parade passed underneath.

Darth Vadar made an appearance.  Photographs by Kenny Elrick
Darth Vadar made an appearance. Photographs by Kenny Elrick

This year’s theme was Christmas Past and Christmas Present, with acts ranging from the ultimate Star Wars villain and his Stormtroopers to a Victorian time machine.

Floats and festive actors were also on hand to complete the transformation of the city-centre into a winter wonderland for the evening, with Santa on stilts, a nativity scene, choir singers and reindeers on Segways.

Stars from this year’s His Majesty’s Theatre panto, Beauty and the Beast, followed behind the pipe band in a stunning open-top silver car, while the cast from Tivoli’s Sleeping Beauty also dressed up for the occasion.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, George Adam, pounded the street alongside his fellow councillors and “Community Stars” – local people who have done great work in their area and who deserved a chance to shine.

The Lord Provost said he had never seen such a big turn-out for the spectacle, with people packed on the streets.

“The Christmas lights switch-on signals the start of the festive season in Aberdeen, and this year’s has just been brilliant,” he said.

“We have new lights which are fantastic, and everybody has got into the festive spirit.

“I think we have even more people here that I have ever seen. Perhaps the brilliant, dry weather encouraged people out.”

Michelle Docherty took her children, five-year-old Meghan and two-year-old Kevin, to see the lights being switched on.

The Torry mum said watching the display come to life every year had become a fixture in her youngsters’ festive calendar.

“It’s nice seeing so many people in Aberdeen turn out to enjoy the same thing,” she said.

“The Christmas lights are magical this year.”

Santa pulled on his kilt for the evening.
Santa pulled on his kilt for the evening. Photographs by Kenny Elrick.

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