Despite the horrible wet weather, there was a surprisingly big turnout for Living Lerwick’s Magical Christmas Light Switch-on Parade.

Crowds started to gather around 3pm, with many an expectant little face looking for Santa. He kicked off the parade by arriving at Victoria Pier on the lifeboat to lead it at 3.30pm on Saturday 28th November. Santa gave the Peerie Foxes nursery bairns magic wands and they followed behind him aboard beautifully decorated trailers to switch on the Christmas lights with their magic wands as they passed. This year’s Jarl Squad were out in force as part of the parade and the brass band provided lovely Christmas music as the parade progressed.

The parade started at Victoria Pier, travelled up Church Road, turned into Commercial Street, down Burns Walk, along the Esplanade and finished up at the Market Cross, where Santa magically switched on the Christmas tree lights with a few rings of his bell. The Brass Band played Christmas Carols and Santa spoke to the bairns in the crowds. The trailers stood still at the Market Cross so that the crowd got a chance to have a good look at the Peerie Foxes expertly decorated trailers and Christmas costumes. The Jarl Squad were very striking in their outfits.

Caroline Henderson, Peerie Foxes nursery said: “Despite the weather it was a brilliant event – one of the bairns declared “we’re magic!” in response to seeing the light switch on at the waving of his wand. We’re delighted to have has this opportunity to spread some Christmas magic through this Living Lerwick event, and would like to thank them, the trailer decorators, Trike drivers and everyone who came to wave and cheer for making this such a wonderful event and giving everyone involved big smiles and happy memories - thank you!”

Christena Irvine, Manager of Living Lerwick said “I could hardly believe the number of people who came out on such a wet day but it just goes to show we have a strong community spirit here and that a little bit of weather won’t get in our way. After organising it, the whole parade seemed a bit surreal to me – when you put all the various elements together, and all the people who helped make it happen, you realise just how unique we are here - a parade like that one could only ever happen in Shetland.”

There are also extended opening hours, special offers, small events, a best Christmas window display competition and a Santa’s Grotto during December. Full details and updates are listed on the Living Lerwick website, and Facebook page.

Photos © Ben Mullay Photography

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