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Community / Hundreds line Commercial Street for Christmas parade

Santa come to town. All Photos: Malcolm Younger/Millgaet Media

LERWICK town centre was buzzing with activity this afternoon (Saturday) for the much-anticipated Christmas parade and Christmas light switch on, with hundreds of families turning out to start this year’s festive celebrations.

There was a small sprinkling of snow right before the festivities began, but the weather held off. Santa led the parade after getting off the Lerwick lifeboat followed by his elves and some volunteers handing out sweeties and goodies to the crowd.

Ruairidh and Cheryl MacKenzie were there with their children Ella, Lily and Torrin with the kids most excited to see Santa. Cheryl said: “It’s so good to see everybody gathering, and it’s a great chance to chat to folk you haven’t seen in a peerie while.”

The Bigton Samba band supplied the music at the front, marching along to a lively drumbeat while the Lerwick Brass Band played some classic Christmas carols at the back of the parade with the Lerwick Jarl Squad singing along.

Michelle Calderwood came out with her daughter Alex Leask and her niece Ashley and dressed up for the occasion. She said: “We come to this every year. It just starts Christmas; you get excited and it’s lovely to see all the lights coming on.

“It was such a big miss when Covid was happening and it wasn’t on, so it’s good to see everybody out enjoying it.”

Alex, aged five, said she was looking forward to seeing the Grinch and added: “We’ve gotten to see Santa twice!”

Festive floats with merry children made up the centre of the parade, and there were a range of Christmas characters out including the Living Lerwick mascot, and Olaf from Frozen.

Paula Saxelby was there with her daughter Alagna in Christmas elf hats, and she said: “The whole atmosphere is great with everybody coming together at this time of year.

“It gets you in the Christmas spirit and it’s so important for the community.”

The event culminated in the Christmas light switch on carried out by Santa himself.

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