IN PICTURES: Alnwick given a festive glow at lights switch-on

Alnwick Lions sleigh was pulled by two new reindeer and Grace McEwan, pictured here with one of Santa's helpers, named them Snowflake and Frosty. Picture by Jane Coltman
Alnwick Lions sleigh was pulled by two new reindeer and Grace McEwan, pictured here with one of Santa's helpers, named them Snowflake and Frosty. Picture by Jane Coltman

Young Millie Snaith got Christmas off to a sparkling start when she switched on Alnwick’s spectacular festive lights.

The St Paul’s RC School pupil took centre stage with the Duchess of Northumberland and Alnwick Christmas lights committee chairman Gordon Castle to do the honours on Friday.

Crowds packed the Market Place to hear music from Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band and carols and festive songs from the Bailiffgate Singers.

Coun Castle thanked everyone who has supported the lights committee and praised the 18-strong team of volunteers who work so hard on the display every year.

“They do it for the pleasure it gives everyone and to brighten up Alnwick’s winter landscape,” he said.

The Duchess also praised the volunteers and their commitment to making Alnwick special at this time of year.

“Every year, I stand here and I thank the Alnwick lights committee and every year it sounds the same, but really all of us have got so much to be thankful for,” she said. “I think all of you will agree that Alnwick is really known for its lights now. We have a team of Americans staying in the castle at the moment. They said they can’t wait to see the lights, they are better than anything they have seen anywhere.”

After a countdown from five, Millie pressed the button to light up the town, to cheers from the watching crowds.