Glasgow gets festive glow up as Christmas lights switched on

The annual switch on was cancelled for a second year, but the city has still been given a festive makeover.

Glasgow gets festive glow up as Christmas lights switched on STV News

For years, it was the hottest ticket in town with thousands of people gathering to watch the Christmas lights in Glasgow’s George Square being switched on.

Last year the pandemic put a halt to the festive event, with the council once again deciding to pause the annual switch on. 

But despite the lack of fanfare, Glasgow has been transformed with a glittering glow up of festive lights.

On Monday, the lights were switched on by Glasgow Lord Provost Philip Braat and STV entertainment reporter Laura Boyd, who fulfilled a childhood dream by switching on the display. 

The Lord Provost said he hopes the festive displays will bring more people into the city centre to help support businesses who have been affected by the pandemic. 

Councillor Braat said: “It’s amazing to see the lights on in George Square but I think we have to admit that this year has been a very tough year for everyone, including our businesses. 

“This year we’re asking people to ‘Love Glasgow’ this Christmas, so come out, enjoy the shops, the pubs, the restaurants, spend a bit of money if you can, but don’t forget about these wonderful lights. 

Glasgow Lord Provost urges Scots to visit the city this Christmas STV News

“Come and look at the wonderful illuminations across the city, we will have the City Chamber frontage illuminated from December 1 and there is of course at St Enoch Square the Christmas market that is an absolute must see. 

“We will have pantomimes and festive concerts right through December into the New Year, but let’s not forget what Christmas is truly about as well and that is to spend time with our family, friends and loved ones. 

“If you can, I would urge people to make a small donation to a local charity so that we do not forget the most vulnerable in our city at this most important time of the year.”

Another festive event affected by the pandemic is the annual Santa Dash, which would normally see thousands of people dressed as Father Christmas take to George Square to raise money for the Beatson Cancer Charity.

This year, the event is going virtual, with Maisie McCormack from the charity urging people to run, jog or walk 5k to raise vital funds.

“Obviously we would have liked for it to have been the in-person event leaving from George Square but it is mass participation and we want to keep people safe,” she said.

“This means it is more accessible for people, we’ll maybe be able to have more groups and schools come together to take part as we’ve opened it up for a week to give people the chance to do it in their own time.”

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