Thousands flock to Wilmslow Christmas lights switch on

Thousands of people, young and old, gathered in Bank Square this evening to see the Wilmslow Christmas lights switched on by actor Ted Robbins (Den Perry from Phoenix Nights) and the cast of Cinderella.

Before the switch on crowds lined the streets to watch Santa proceed through the town centre on his sleigh drawn by his reindeer, much to the delight of all the children.

The parade was accompanied by Rainbows who were collecting money for Wilmslow Sanctuary and members of Tempo youth theatre company. They proceeded along the service road from Costa Coffee to Sainsbury's before travelling down Alderley Road, which was closed to traffic for the first time this year, before making their way down Grove Street to finish at Bank Square.

At Bank Square the crowd were entertained with performances from Wilmslow Rock Choir and Lindow Primary School Choir.

Then Ted Robins (The Slammer) and fellow cast members who are performing Cinderella at Stockport Plaza next month, joined Father Christmas on stage to switch on the Wilmslow Christmas lights.

The event was organised and funded by the Town Council and the evening's entertainment was compered by Wilmslow resident Erik Garner.

Earlier in the day the first ever Wilmslow Santa Dash took place in The Carrs when 120 Santas ran, jog or walked their way around the 3.4km course, with some of the proceeds going to Food Friend which will help to brighten Christmas for the those in need. Click here to view our gallery of pictures from the Santa Dash.

During the afternoon there were also open mic perfrmances from Grace Stubbs, Ewan Sim, Liam McClair and Drew Selby on the stage at Bank Square.

This year the Town Council moved the event, which marks the official launch of the festive season in Wilmslow, to a Saturday to enable the proceedings to start and end earlier, so the younger ones can also enjoy the celebrations. There was also a shorter interval between the arrival of the reindeers and the switching on of the lights.

Cllr Martin Watkins, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council, said "We decided to change the switch on this year from a Thursday evening to a Saturday afternoon and to make the reindeer parade much longer than in previous years. Firstly we wanted families with young children to see Santa at a more convenient time for them.

"Secondly, an event like this brings so many people into the town that we wanted shops to be able to take advantage of the additional footfall. The feedback we have received points to a general approval of the changes. It was noticeable just how many small children were brought into Wilmslow on Saturday and we hope that they enjoyed themselves."

What did you think of this year's event and the changes to both the day and time? Share your views via the comment box below.

Christmas Lights Switch On, Wilmslow Christmas Lights


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Oliver Romain
Sunday 30th November 2014 at 12:27 am
Oh no there wasn't. It was good event but it was attended by several hundred not thousands. How many people can fit into Bank Square? At least the geniuses at council got it right on timing following last year's blunder of santa arriving after children's bed time and when shops shut. My lad was delighted to see santa and reindeers but dissapointed that following the announcement that cinders was coming that she was 'not there' as the actress and rest of cast were not in costume because they said it was too cold. Panto fans were short changed.
Meryl Spencer
Sunday 30th November 2014 at 9:23 am
It was lovely to see so many people, young and old, in Wilmslow. Much better having this event on a Saturday, it felt like a proper community event. However after Santa arrived in Bank Square we were kept hanging around for over half an hour in the cold. The choirs did their best but the sound system was very poor, the panto cast were a huge disappointment, not in costume and all they did was promote their panto! Like quite a few others we were walking back down Grove St when the lights were switched on. A good start to this event but room for improvement next year.
Angela Kapoor
Sunday 30th November 2014 at 11:53 am
A well organised, fun community event - keep it on Saturday! Well done WTC.