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Town Council thanks all involved for Ilkley Christmas Switch-On


Ilkley Town Council has sent its gratitude to everyone who worked to make the town's Christmas lights switch-on event such a special occasion.


Father Christmas rode into Ilkley on Saturday teatime for the first light switch on in three years. The 2020 event became virtual because of the Covid-19 pandemic, while last year's switch-on was cancelled because of strong winds and forecast wintry weather.


This year saw Christmas Markets from Bradford Council set up on The Grove, and the town was buzzing with excitement generated by the volunteers, crowds, and performers.


Guiseley Brass Band and Hot Aire! Concert Band performed on the bandstand in the afternoon, followed by performances from Ilkley Gym Club, Addingham-based Mark Gregory from Mark Your Occasion, Performance Drama School and Stagecoach Ilkley, all compared by Rombalds Radio.


The event culminated with more than two thousand people in town to watch a parade led by Father Christmas on a horse-drawn sleigh which travelled from the Memorial Gardens to the stage area outside Christchurch ahead of the Christmas lights being switched on.


A spokesperson for Ilkley Town Council said: "We were delighted to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian population of Ilkley and were incredibly proud to have them lead Santa and his carriage in the procession. The Town Crier heralded the switch on with the Mayor and Mayoress on hand to greet Santa, and then The Grove lit up to the excitement of the massed crowds.


"Santa then made his way back among the gathered crowds and invited the children to come and visit him with their parents in his grotto, where they could put in their requests for the big day!


"Ilkley Town Council wishes to thank everyone involved for making it such a special occasion, and wishes everyone a happy and peaceful festive season."


Hosts Rombalds Radio have photos of the events here.

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