Christmas switch on

Shelby Harkness switches on the Motherwell lights

Shelby Harkness switches on the Motherwell lights

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The festive season is well and truly under way in Motherwell and Bellshill after the two towns held their Christmas lights switch-ons last week.

In Motherwell on Sunday the star attraction was X-Factor star Nicholas McDonald who performed for this hometown crowd, along with Scottish boy band Rewind.

A synthetic ice rink in Merry Street on Saturday and Sunday also proved popular with families who came into the town to enjoy the festive celebrations and there was additional entertainment from a reindeer parade, stilt walkers and funfair rides.

A lot of fun was also had with #elfieselfie, where the local community could transform themselves into a family of elves by popping their heads through the allocated spaces.

It was also a big day for four-year-old Shelby Harkness, from Knowetop Primary School, who won a competition to sit in the sleigh with Santa as the parade snaked through the centre and brought joy and Christmas cheer to a packed crowd.

She won a £250 gift card which will be used in Argos and Wilko. The school also received a £250 gift card.

Bellshill’s switch-on took place last Thursday at a new location at Bellshill Cross, just outside St Andrew’s Church.

Lots of families came out to enjoy the event, which this year saw Edward Reid and local girl Lisa McKechnie tell the story of Scrooge.

The short pantomime, which was especially written for Town Centre Activities, proved to be a big hit with those who came out to the annual event.

Town centre co-ordinator Angela Russell said: “We wanted to do something a little different this year that made families feel more involved in the event.

“The reaction of the local community has been fantastic and it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves.”

Not only did the community come out in support, but surrounding businesses joined in on the celebrations with Paul Fox Properties donating selection boxes and Headworks and Co handing out hot chocolate and marshmallows on the day.

It was a similar story in Hamilton where the lights switch-on took place at Regent Shopping Centre on Saturday.

And Santa’s reindeer also took him to M&D’s Theme Park for the Christmas season.

Scotland’s Theme Park provided Santa with a special energy boosting feed for his reindeer to enjoy and once safely at the park he made his way to an ice rink on a steam train to greet the crowds before enjoying a brief skate with Knoxy from Clyde One.

The East Kilbride Figure Skating Club put on a dazzling 60-minute performance – including ‘Frozen’ favourites ‘Let It Go’ and ‘In Summer’ – to officially open the outdoor skating rink.

Children can now visit the man himself in his grotto and enjoy Christmas scenes and winter animatronics at the wonderland. The reindeer will also remain on site until December 22.

For a super picture spread on the Christmas celebrations see this week’s Motherwell Times or Bellshill Speaker.