It’s the most wonderful time of year…and the festivities got off to a flyer in Hamilton town centre on Saturday.
The much-anticipated Christmas lights switch-on event promised to be bigger and better than ever, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Thousands turned out to Quarry Street where the festive markets ran from 10am throughout the whole day, before an evening of talent entertained those in attendance.
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Locals were treated to performances from Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club, The Juniors Play Café and Rocca Hamilton Christmas Choir before a dazzling fire show wowed spectators before the big countdown at 6pm.
And this year, it was community heroes Sean Boyd of Helping Hands Hamilton, and Tracy McDonald of I Spy A Rainbow who did the honours.
The pair were nominated during a competition leading up to the event after leading by example through their groups and providing vital support to the community through the pandemic.
They were introduced following a speech by South Lanarkshire Council Provost Ian McAllan who also thanked Sean and Tracy for their efforts.
Also entertaining the crowds was popular Lanarkshire drag queen Garry King who continued to lift the Christmas spirit throughout a fantastic evening.
Organisers of the event, Hamilton Our Town (BID) were delighted to see a very impressive turnout of people fill the streets on Saturday and reckon as many as 3000 all came along on the day.
Hamilton BID manager Malcolm Thomas-Harley told Lanarkshire Live : “We were delighted by the tremendous turnout by the public on the day and we thank everyone for their support.
“It was amazing to see the town centre full of busy shoppers enjoying the performances and the stalls.
“We designed the day to focus as much attention on the town centre businesses and the community as possible and through the whole day rather than just for a few hours at the light switch on time.
“We hope that the location change also benefits a wider range of businesses through the focus on footfall within the heart of the BID area on Quarry Street.”
Live music from Samba Ya Bamba, An Abba Dream, Black Star Steel Band, among many more all performed on stage.”
Malcolm added: “Many of the performers were local people and groups that gave up their time to appear at this event.
“Groups such as the Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club, The Juniors Play Café & Rocca Hamilton Christmas Choir, Valarie Brown Dance School and Noel Quinn all made huge contributions to the day we thank them for the hard work and hours spend rehearsing.
“It was also brilliant to have the lights turned on by members of the community this year and we thank Sean and the helping Hands team alongside Tracy McDonald and of course the Provost.
“We’re back every Saturday before Christmas so there’s lots of opportunity for the public to come into Hamilton and enjoy the market, the shops , entertainment and on December 4, the Reindeer Parade.”
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