The highly anticipated Christmas lights switch-on in Selkirk has been deemed a huge success by organisers and townsfolk alike.
More than 300 people gathered in Market Place on Saturday afternoon to enjoy musical entertainment and welcome Santa to the town for the town’s first ever switch-on event of this kind.
The event was organised by Serkirk Illuminations, the group of volunteers behind funding the new lights and their installation, who were delighted to see that community spirit is still shining bright in the Royal Burgh.
Caroline Penman from Selkirk Illuminations said: “When you see it all come together, it just looks amazing. It’s such a buzz for Selkirk, We’ve had the Yarn Bombers, the Standard Bearer and his attendants, Santa and all the volunteers involved and to see if all come together is brilliant!”
“It has brought all the families out and proved that the community spirit in Selkirk is still alive.”
She added: “It was hard work getting to this point. People were a lot less interested last year. But we have had pop up shops, a duck race and a bingo night and have raised over £4.500 for the new lights which look great tonight.
“There are so many people who helped get us to this point. People were really generous with their time, donations and support.
“I had actually thought we might get about 40 or 50 folk today but there were 300 odd which is just brilliant.” Music came from Selkirk Silver Band, Riddle Fiddlers, Dere Street and Selkirk Amateur Operatic Society while Santa and his elves were more than happy to spend time meeting children and posing for photographs.
Rosie Foreman, the winner of the school’s Christmas jumper design competition, was given the honour of switching on the tree lights ably assisted by Santa Clause and amid much excitement following the countdown.
Delighted to have been a part of the celebrations, Santa said afterwards: “What a turnout! There must have been more than 300 folk here today. “For me it has been a superb event, it’s went brilliantly. The kids were brilliant. An absolute cracker of an afternoon!”
Addressing the crowd, and those watching from as far afield as Fife, Aberdeenshire and New Zealand, through the Southern Reporter’s Facebook live stream, Caroline said: “I am absolutely gobsmacked at the amount of people that have turned out tonight. When we thought of starting something like this back in January, I actually thought we’d maybe get about 50 people along, so I am absolutely chuffed to bits to see the Market Place looking as full, looking as lovely and what’s going to be even more lovely in a few minutes once we get the lights switched on.” “A special thank you to the Yarn Bombers for knitting all the extra decorations and the 2,000 pom poms which have decorated the town.
“I would also like to thank all the volunteers who came along and helped put up the lights and the extra decorations.
“Thanks to all the businesses who helped by donating money and donating their time and helped fundraise for the lights.
A special thank too to JG Main Services who put in so much work.”
She added: “Thank to the people of Selkirk for coming out to show your support. It just shows community spirit is alive in Selkirk, and it’s fabulous to see so many of you coming out today and supporting the event.”