Bumper crowd at Peebles’ Christmas lights switch-on

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More than 2,000 people arrived in Peebles last night to celebrate the Christmas lights switch-on.

The event was organised by the Peebles Christmas Lights Association which praised the large turnout.

A warm scent of mulled wine hovered across the High Street where an array of Chritmas gifts and delicacies were sold from market stalls and where children enjoyed the games and rides at the funfair.

At 7.10pm Peebles Burgh Silver Band and Peebles Ex-Servicesmen’s Pipe Band piped festive tunes as they marched from the Parish Church and along High Street to the Tontine Steps where Santa then led the countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on at 7.30pm.

David Elder, chairman of the Peebles Christmas Lights Association, said: “It’s been fantastic and it’s the biggest turnout I have seen yet with at least 2,000 people here tonight so the crowd has been really great. The organising team is very small, but it has been fantastic once again and everyone has done exactly what they have needed to do for it all to work.

“It also wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors Stobo Castle Health Spa Over and our volunteers. Over the last few weeks more than 20 volunteers have been working very hard to put the lights up and, as you can see, it has proved to be a great success.”

Musical entertainment was also provided by the Kingsland Primary School choir which sang a selection of classic Christmas songs. The choir is comprised of 59 members overall who have been practising for weeks.

Caroline Belleville, principle teacher at Kingsland Primary, said: “The school children have absolutely loved it. It was so great and lovely to be part of the lights switch-on. The choir has quite a few events in the run up to Christmas but none outdoors so it was lovely to do something a little bit different.”

Peebles resident Gus Brookes, who was there with his three grandsons, said: “The whole thing has been great. We have been very lucky with the weather as last year it was so miserable that we didn’t get to go. My grandsons are all loving it and having a great time which is really nice to see”.

After the switch-on gatherers continued to enjoy the delights of the market as well as the High Street shops which offered late opening hours for the evening.

Our Facebook Live video feed of the switch-on was watched by more than 2,400 people.