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Community invited to Santa's parade and Christmas lights switch-on in Forres


By Garry McCartney

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Forres Christmas lights 2020...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Forres Christmas lights 2020...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

A MUCH-loved event is making a welcome return at the end of the month.

The community is invited to the first official Christmas lights switch-on – at 5pm on Saturday, November 27, at the Tolbooth – since 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

Volunteers Scott Allan, Alex Ross, Jim Dunn and George Alexander preparing the site for the town tree.
Volunteers Scott Allan, Alex Ross, Jim Dunn and George Alexander preparing the site for the town tree.

Forres Christmas Lights Committee (FCLC) spokesman, Alan Hunter, confirmed the town’s Christmas tree centrepiece, donated by Moray Estates and transported by Tommy Gill, will be delivered and decorated on Sunday, November 21.

He said: “During the afternoon, entertainment will be provided by Wave Radio and Elgin City Band.

“At 4.30pm, Forres and District Pipe Band will lead Santa and the following children’s parade from the town hall to the tree. We hope that as many children as possible will join the parade.

“Come in fancy dress or just come as you are... but please join us!”

Mark Hepburn, Ewen Rhind, Adrian Eastham and Alex Ross at Museum Square.
Mark Hepburn, Ewen Rhind, Adrian Eastham and Alex Ross at Museum Square.

Twenty volunteers started putting the lights up at 7.30am on Sunday, October 31 and made good progress to get most of them up before the rain hit in the afternoon, eventually finishing at around 3.30pm.

The display includes two new cross-street lights worth £3100 – partly funded by £1000 from the Adam Family Foundation – and three new displays paid for by a local business worth another £900.

Eric Janousek and Steve Neall at work on Tolbooth Street.
Eric Janousek and Steve Neall at work on Tolbooth Street.
Putting up the town hall display.
Putting up the town hall display.

“We put the lights up every year to bring a bit of cheer to the town – and to attract visitors to a more vibrant High Street,” said Alan.

“During the summer months, committee members spent a lot of hours repairing the older lights, testing each and every one.

“Unfortunately due to Covid numbers rising, the committee took the reluctant decision not to have a Christmas Market with tea and mince pies this year.

“However, we are looking forward to inviting the children to meet Santa at the town hall before the parade along to the tree for the big switch-on.”

Children wishing to take part are asked to meet at the front of Forres Town Hall at 4.20pm.

Traffic will be diverted away from High Street from 4-6pm so drivers attempting to follow North Street and Caroline Street will also be asked to use adjacent streets during this time.

Santa leading the switch-on parade through the high street.
Santa leading the switch-on parade through the high street.
Arrik Macleman with Isla Esson (back left) and Angus Esson in 2018.
Arrik Macleman with Isla Esson (back left) and Angus Esson in 2018.


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