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Community enjoys town Christmas lights switch-on event at Forres Tolbooth


By Garry McCartney

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Forres Pipe band leading the procession from the town hall to the Tolbooth.
Forres Pipe band leading the procession from the town hall to the Tolbooth.
Parading through High Street.
Parading through High Street.

HUNDREDS attended the Christmas lights switch-on at the Tolbooth on Saturday afternoon.

Having cancelled the event in 2019 and last year due to coronavirus regulations, Forres Christmas Lights Committee (FCLC) was keen to restart the local tradition to spread some festive cheer with the help of Santa Claus, Wave Radio and Elgin City Band at the Merkat Cross.

Gathering at the Mercat Cross.
Gathering at the Mercat Cross.

Spokesman Alan Hunter confirmed the usual Christmas Market and refreshments at the town hall did not go ahead but attendees enjoyed the parade along High Street led by Forres and District Pipe Band.

The community enjoying the town's pipes and drums.
The community enjoying the town's pipes and drums.
Donna McPhee, Calvin Reid and Demi Townsley waiting for the big switch-on.
Donna McPhee, Calvin Reid and Demi Townsley waiting for the big switch-on.

He said: "We were pleased the event went ahead at all after a very stormy Friday which saw substantial damage to the top of the tree.

"Thank you to the volunteers who put the lights up, the helpers who make the switch-on day possible and the community of Forres for their continued support."

Elgin City Band entertained with Christmas standards.
Elgin City Band entertained with Christmas standards.
Santa welcoming the pipe band and followers.
Santa welcoming the pipe band and followers.
Giving the Gazette a wave!
Giving the Gazette a wave!

Volunteers put the lights up on Sunday, October 31 - the display includes two new cross-street lights worth £3100 and three new displays.

Traffic was diverted to allow the parade and gathering in the town centre. Santa's elves (and Spongebob Squarepants) made bucket collections, joined by Logie P4 pupil Oliver Parker (8) dressed as a Christmas tree.

Oliver Parker was the best dressed attendee!
Oliver Parker was the best dressed attendee!

Oliver's mum said: "The main part of his outfit was made of cardboard with hand-print leaves. It took Oliver and his granny all week to finish it!"

Spongebob and Santa's elves.
Spongebob and Santa's elves.

The bucket collections raised £400 for FCLC. Mr Hunter explained that the cash is much-needed following two years of being unable to fund-raise.

He said: "We are hoping to raise more at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/alan-hunter and donations can be made via a QR code which can be scanned at Forres House Community Centre, the town hall, the Tolbooth and local shops.

"Thank you to everyone for your generosity."

Follow Forres Christmas Lights Committee Facebook page for more information.

The big switch-on.
The big switch-on.
High Street looking west from the Tolbooth clocktower.
High Street looking west from the Tolbooth clocktower.


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