The countdown’s on to Dumfries’ annual Christmas Lights Switch-on event, on Friday 17th November. There’s an exciting programme of events, starting in the afternoon and running through to the big moment at 6.30pm. The winners of this year’s primary schools Christmas bauble design competition will push the plunger to launch the lights.
2023 will see some changes; straight after the lights have been switched on, Santa will lead Dumfries Town Band and the gathered crowds for a Torchlight Procession to see the lights in action. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the Lights of Hope along the Whitesands, which will stay on till the end of January, bringing light and hope through the bleak January dark nights. The procession will go along the High Street, Down Friars Vennel, along the Whitesands, returning up Bank Street to a finale back on the Plainstanes. Volunteers will be on hand selling glow sticks and people are welcome to bring their own torches and use phone lights to make a glittering sight.
The afternoon will be packed with some great entertainment on the Plainstanes. Lee Medd, from Alive 107fm will MC through the afternoon and there’ll be contributions from Dumfries Town Band, The Chloe Baker Group, Theatre Royal Guild of Players, The Ultimate Dance Group, Road Runner, River of Life Choir, The Synergy Choir and DJ Connor amongst others. At the same time, Choirs from Calside, St Andrews and Troqueer primary schools will be entertaining the crowds in the Loreburne Centre.
There’ll be fairground rides and activities from Queen of the South FC and Solway Sharks ice hockey teams, with an opportunity to meet some of the players.
Mark Smith, coordinating the event for Dumfries Partnership Action Group says, “I’m so excited for the Lights Switch-on 2023! It great to work with the Guid Nychburris team and local organisations. Dumfries does Christmas well, and people love to gather in the town to shop, meet up and enjoy the atmosphere on the build up to the 25th December. We’re expecting that this year’s switch-on event will be vibrant, entertaining and heart warming, as we come together to launch the Christmas season. We’re really grateful to Jardine’s Funerals, who have made the ‘Lights of Hope’ aspect possible and to D&G Council for their support. We also appreciate the support of Devorgilla Rotary Club for marshals & security, plus sponsorship from The Globe Inn and other local businesses who will feature on a big screen. There’s still time to sponsor the event; just get in touch with me on [email protected]. It’s going to be a super event – thanks to all who are working hard to make it great!”