Thousands of people enjoyed the switching on of Nairn’s Christmas lights, the turn-out believed to be the biggest in a decade.
Chosen to assist Santa in turning on the lights were 7-year-old Jill Sinclair and 8-year-old Emilee Hastie both from Rosebank Primary School.
They won the opportunity to perform the honour after entering a Christmas decoration competition.
The organisation of the ‘12 Hours of Christmas’ celebration programme was led by Nairn BID with huge input from businesses and organisations from across the town.
The day’s festivities included a craft fayre, street market with performers and community choirs and bands, meet the huskies, horse and carriage rides and the chance to stroke the donkeys.
The horse and carriage ride attraction was run by Carrbridge Carriage Driving who treated visitors to a ride around the west end of the town in exchange for donations to Team Hamish and MFR Cash For Kids.
The event, which finished with a ceilidh in Nairn Community & Arts Centre showcased over 50 individual businesses with many providing special offers on the day and Grace Lily Lingerie Shop proving a hit with a live model in the window.
Janis Maclean, manager of Nairn BID said she was delighted with the turnout and that the businesses took hold of the opportunity: “We had an absolutely wonderful day and there was a brilliant atmosphere across the whole town. It took almost six months of planning which culminated in a day where the spotlight really was on our fabulous town. Walking around, we had so many positive comments from locals and visitors alike, many of whom who said they hadn’t realised what a great variety of shops we have in the town.
“The BID team also visited a number of the businesses throughout the day and again people were pleased to see the town so busy and everyone enjoying the entertainment that was arranged.”
Janis added: “This event was a real collaboration between Nairn BID, the community groups and the businesses and we want to thank everyone who got involved. By working together, we can achieve great things and I think the 12 Hours of Christmas is a great example of that.”
The 12 Hours of Christmas also received financial support from Nairn Rotary Club, the Association of Nairn Businesses and Highland Council’s Nairn and Cawdor Ward Discretionary Fund.
Colin Sinclair, whose daughter Jill was one of the youngsters switching on the lights said they had a wonderful day: “We have really enjoyed the day. We started off in the community centre where there was so many fantastic stalls and Santa’s grotto. Then we moved across to the High Street for the light switch on. The whole day has had a fantastic atmosphere. Jill was delighted to meet Santa and was very excited to be switching on the lights.”
Lynne Gray who visited the town with her sons Euan (11) and six-year-old Calum added: “We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves today. There has been a great mix of things to do. The kids have loved being able to meet all the different animals, and enjoyed the street performers and the entertainment, whilst we were able to look round the shops and stalls. It has been a great day out.”
Original source and pecture credit: Nairn Connects