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Lighting way to Christmas; Duo take over switch-on planning.

Byline: Stuart McFarlane

The preparations for this year's Christmas lights celebration in Dumfries are under way, with a new duo in charge of the event.

The Guild, run by local businesswomen Leah Halliday and Kirsten Scott, have been chosen as the lead partner for the switch-on, which will take place on December 1. They hope to run a Christmas festival across the whole of the town centre on the day, with a makers' market joined by music, workshops and a programme of entertainment that will include not just the High Street, but in the side streets as well.

Andy Ferguson, chairman of the council's communities committee welcomed the decision.

He said: "Our council is delighted that The Guild has agreed to organise the Christmas Lights Switch-On in Dumfries this year as part of their Christmas festival.

"It is a wonderful family-friendly day and is very much the wake up call that many of us need to start Festive cheer Leah Halliday and Kirsten Scott from the Guild have been charged with organising this year's event the Christmas planning, when the lights go on in our wee town.I look forward to working with The Guild on this project, and hopefully others in the future too."

And director Leah said: "We feel it is extremely important they also take advantage of the increased footfall expected in the town on the day to encourage the message of shop local.

"We have many superb businesses located in our town centre and we wish them to benefit from this festival experience and share in the overall sense of community and the benefits of working collaboratively together."

The pair hope that businesses and retailers based in the town will get involved by staying open late and have invited them to get in touch with any ideas about the festival.

They are also on the hunt for the perfect mix of makers, creatives, food and drink producers and street food vendors for the Christmas makers market, with the deadline for applications set for Sunday, September 15.

Kirsten said: "We are arranging a meeting in the near future to discuss ideas and consolidate a plan, but if anyone is interested in getting involved, sponsoring, donating, helping us to fundraise or would love to volunteer some of their time to help us, then we'd love them to get in touch."

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Publication:Dumfries and Galloway Standard (Dumfriesshire, Scotland)
Date:Sep 10, 2019
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