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Inverness Christmas lights switch-on lines up Miss Scotland and Ness Factor winner

By Andrew Dixon

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Miss Scotland Chelsie Allison. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Miss Scotland Chelsie Allison. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Local star power has been enlisted for the return of Inverness's Christmas lights switch-on event.

Ness Factor winner Joanne Ross, from Dingwall, and Highland Voices Gospel Choir are set to perform as part of activities including a service round the Hospice Christmas Tree in Falcon Square on Sunday, November 26.

Inverness's Miss Scotland winner Chelsie Allison will switch on the lights for the hospice tree, she has been fundraising for the charity ahead of her appearance at Miss World next year.

Hospice head of income Andrew Leaver said: "Each light on the tree is sponsored in memory of a loved one which makes it an emotional occasion.

“Now in its fifth year, the Falcon Square tree is a true collaborative effort. Sponsored by Cairngorm Group and erected and lit with the support of Capstone Construction, Paterson Haulage and the Eastgate Centre, the tree forms the centrepiece of our annual Light up the Highlands appeal.

"This year seeing it lit as the climax to the council’s fabulous street lighting switch-on will add an extra dimension to what is already a treasured part of Inverness’ Christmas celebrations."

Joanne Ross won Ness Factor 2023. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Joanne Ross won Ness Factor 2023. Picture: James Mackenzie.

STV reporter Nicola McAlley will present the event, which is part several activities planned in conjunction with Eastgate Shopping Centre, Culloden Rotary Club and Highland Council.

Mall manager Chris Kershaw said: "The Christmas lights switch-on will finish off a great day in the centre, with reindeer visiting the centre on Falcon Square and our Santa's grotto open, it will be a great day that will bring some festive cheer to the city."

They festive lights will be turned on by the council at 4.30pm. It'll follow a kids Christmas crafting session at Loch and Larder from 10am-noon, reindeers in Falcon Square from noon-3pm and Santa's grotto from 11am-4pm.

Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell Sinclair said: “I am very pleased that the Inverness Common Good Fund is again able to provide festive lighting in the city centre which helps to promote the city centre as a shopping and visitor destination. Further, we greatly appreciate that the business community is working in collaboration with our arrangements to provide the best possible offer to all those attending.

“The support to local businesses is vital at this very important trading time of year and the festive cheer of lighting brings joy to the local community.”

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