Around 16,500 fill St Albans city centre to see St Peter’s Street and Clock Tower Christmas lights switched on

PUBLISHED: 11:30 20 November 2018

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

Archant

Around 16,500 people enjoyed the Christmas lights switch-on in St Albans on Sunday.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

St Albans mayor Rosemary Farmer flicked the switch on the Clock Tower lights while the city’s pantomime stars turned on the St Peter’s Street display.

The district council’s portfolio holder for business Salih Gaygusuz said: “The lights switch-on is a fantastic family event and it always generates a terrific atmosphere.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

“This year, we were lucky with the weather as it was a dry, sunny day and the crowds seemed even bigger than usual.

“I thought the lights were excellent and was particularly taken with the stunning Clock Tower projection.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

“This will all help make St Albans a top destination for Christmas shoppers during the festive season benefiting shops, restaurants, bars and the local economy.”

Cllr Farmer said: “It was lovely to join the bumper crowds for the start of Christmas festivities in St Albans.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

“The lights and the projection onto the Clock Tower looked truly fabulous and it was wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves.”

Several roads around the city centre were closed for the event, which started at noon and included fairground rides and live music.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

The lights were switched on at 5pm and were largely funded by St Albans Business Improvement District (BID), which plans to expand the display next year.

BID manager Helen Burridge said: “It was wonderful to hear the crowd’s reaction to the Clock Tower reveal, which will continue to develop and change over the coming weeks.

The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.The St Albans Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday, November 18. Picture: Stephanie Belton.

“Make sure you drop by the Cathedral Quarter to see it in action and thanks again to REWIND for their time and generosity in making it happen.”

The lights did spark controversy on social media, however, due to a projection on the Clock Tower wishing everyone ‘Happy Holidays’ rather than referring to Christmas by name.

The Clock Tower projection on the evening of the St Albans Christmas lights switch on. Picture: BID.The Clock Tower projection on the evening of the St Albans Christmas lights switch on. Picture: BID.

Helen said: “REWIND is a local company that had offered to design a bespoke projection for the city.

“Planning application was given last Monday and the message is intended to evolve and will do over the course of the next six weeks.”

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