In pictures: Christmas light switch-on in Slough

Reporter:

Will Taylor

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The festive season took off in spectacular fashion as a Santa teamed up with Slough Borough Council and the Express to turn on the town’s Christmas lights on Saturday.

Hundreds gathered in the town square next to the Empire Cinema to see the mayor, Arvind Dhaliwal, Santa, and the Express’s own Nicola Hine turn them on.

It followed a raft of musical entertainment from 1pm until the big countdown began at about 5pm.

Lynsey Hellewell, commercial officer at Slough Borough Council, said six months-worth of preparation had gone into it and it was satisfying to see it pulled off without a hitch.

“I think it has gone down really well,” she said.

“I’m really, really pleased people have come to out to see it all.”

She thanked the 14 shops nearby for donating to the event.

“To be giving something for free away, it speaks volumes for the retailers.”

It is the first time the event has been held on a weekend.

The mayor was called onto stage after performances from Irish band Blarney, Creative Academy, Pop Goes the Choir, Bhangra group Apna Virsa, panto troupe DK ProDuktions and a show from Nate Simpson, who managed to get through to the boot camp round of the X Factor.

Mayor Arvind Dhaliwal said the council had done a ‘wonderful’ job and it was the best display he had seen.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “It is lovely to see so many nice and happy faces.

“You can see the town square is full, everybody is loving it. I don’t think I’ve seen so many people.”

Nate Simpson looked delighted to perform for the crowd and said: “That was incredible, it was so incredible to be in my town.”

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