/ Home / Your Council / News / News Releases / 2009 / November
Christmas lights switch on (23/11/09)
An estimated crowd of 5,000 gathered in Inverness city centre on Sunday night (22 November) for the Inverness Winter Festival’s Christmas Lights Switch On Show.
The festivities started in the grounds of an illuminated Inverness Castle to watch families release more than 200 flaming Chinese lanterns, which had been sold to raise funds in aid of the Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland. The action then switched to the front of the Inverness Town House where the crowd was entertained by the young members of Còisir Òg Inbhir Nis, who performed a selection of Gaelic Carols, the Royal British Legion Pipes and Drums Band, Fly Agaric Stilt Walkers and the antics of members of the cast of the Eden Court Theatre Pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.
The reason why so many lights were needed in the sky was revealed to loud cheers when Santa Claus arrived in a rocket ship instead of his usual sleigh courtesy of Evanton-based Arts in Motion, who transformed the front of the Town House with some stunning visual effects. After a burst of pyrotechnics, Santa appeared with Deputy Provost Peter Corbett. Youngsters Emma Miller and Anya Coleman helped lead the countdown and right on cue the 2009 Christmas Lights twinkled into life.
The celebration ended with one of the finest carol services ever staged in Inverness as the Inverness Gaelic Choir were joined by choristers representing Church choirs around Inverness in a St Stephen’s/Old High Church which had been transformed by red floodlighting for “Ding Dong Merrily Old High”, an ecumenical concert hosted by the Reverend Peter Nimmo.
Councillor Roy Pedersen, Chairman of the Inverness Winter Festival, said “We have been delighted by the response from the public to the two new events that we have introduced on either side of the Switch On Ceremony and the enjoyment that both the Charity lantern launch and “Ding Dong Merrily Old High” have given to so many people was clear for all to see.”
Sarah Secombes, of the Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland, said: “We are so grateful for the warmth and generosity of the people of Inverness and the help of the Inverness Festivals Team. We have raised over £1200 in the most memorable way possible and cannot thank everybody who has helped us enough for one of the best Christmas Presents we have ever received.”
For further details please contact: Gerry Reynolds Events & Promotions Officer, The Highland Council, Education, Culture & Sport, 13 Ardross Street, Inverness, IV3 5NS. Tel: 01463 663823; Mobile: 0778 6172961 Fax: 01463 663809