More than 5,000 people attended Stirling Council’s Christmas Lights Switch On – just weeks after the success of the city’s inaugural Halloween Lantern Parade.
Stirling Provost Christine Simpson, with Clara-Louise Hamill, who switched on Stirling's Christmas Lights for 2019, and her gran Vivienne

At the start of November, around 2,000 participants snaked their way through Stirling’s historic old town, the centrepiece of the city’s diverse range of Halloween events.

On Sunday (17 Nov), Stirling officially moved into festive mode with its fun-filled big switch on event.

Despite the winter cold, a huge crowd turned out to see Cowie youngster Clara-Louise Hamill press the button to give Stirling its Christmas sparkle and festive feel-good factor.

The five-year-old had been handed the honour after winning a competition organised by Thistles Shopping Centre.

As part of the prize, the St Margaret’s Primary School P1 pupil rode alongside Santa in the colourful reindeer parade earlier in the day, with throngs of families lining the streets along the city centre route.

Boosted by the positive numbers at both these events, the Council is now looking forward to welcoming visitors to the rest of its bumper Winter Festival programme, which will climax in the spectacular Hogmanay celebrations at the Stirling Castle Esplanade.

Significant economic boost

Stuart Oliver, Senior Manager for Economic Development and Communities at Stirling Council said: “It’s fantastic that so many families enjoyed our big switch on celebrations at the weekend, which came hot on the heels of the terrific turnout of our first-ever Halloween event.

“These successes continue to enhance Stirling’s reputation as a key events location and provide a significant economic boost to businesses and traders as we head into a key period in the calendar.”

Prior to Clara-Louise giving Stirling its Christmas glow, there was plenty of festive feel-good factor in the chilly air as the likes of family favourites Funbox and former X-Factor star Alix Muir and a host of talented local musicians entertained the crowd.

Positive experience

Mr Oliver added: “From the festive feast of music and entertainment on offer on Sunday, I’m sure visitors to the city had a positive experience, and hopefully we will see them return to Stirling for their Christmas shopping or to attend another of our Winter Festival events, including our exciting Hogmanay celebrations.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our hard-working staff, our partners and all the other agencies, including Police Scotland, who ensure these events are such a success.”

For more info on Stirling's Winter Festival events, head here: http://www.stirlingwinterfestival.com

Picture details:

Pic 001 shows Clara-Louise Hamill and Stirling Provost Christine Simpson, alongside Santa and some of the colourful characters in the Santa Procession.

Pic 121 shows Clara-Louise Hamill, her gran Vivienne and Stirling Provost Christine Simpson as Stirling’s Christmas Lights are switched on. All pictures should be credited to Whyler Photos/Stirling Council.

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