Thousands of people turned out to celebrate the start of the festive season in Ayr at the weekend (Sunday 18 Nov) with the official countdown to Christmas now underway. The Little Stars Light Up Ayr event ended with a local fundraiser for Ayrshire Hospice helping to flood High Street with seasonal cheer.
After a successful event last year South Ayrshire Council brought back its Little Stars Light Up Ayr event. Following a competition linked to the South Ayrshire Youth Forum Awards, and celebrating the year of Young People, 17 year old Lucy Fawcett from Prestwick was picked to flick the switch and start the countdown to Christmas. Lucy was nominated by the Council's charity partner Ayrshire Hospice in recognition of her dedicated fundraising. It was a personal moment for Lucy, whose mum Kay is currently being treated in Ayrshire Hospice. Her family have already raised more than £16,500 for the charity, with high hopes of raising even more in the months ahead.
Lucy said it had been a day to remember, "It was an honour to have been nominated by Ayrshire Hospice to switch on the Christmas lights and it was a day I'll never forget.
"My family have been working hard to support Ayrshire Hospice and with collections taking place at the weekend I hope we have inspired even more people to dig deep to help support this vital local charity."
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture said the event had been a great success, "People were out in force supporting their communities and several thousand turned out at events in Ayr, Prestwick and Troon.
"Importantly the events attract people to our town centres where local businesses benefit from increased trade at this important time of year, and I'd urge anyone doing their Christmas shopping to consider a visit to your town centre.
"We've a full programme of events planned for the coming weeks which offer a host of ideas for families and people looking for entertainment and I'm sure this year's winter activities will be warmly received."
This year's Little Stars event included a day of entertainment planned for Ayr concluding Scotland's Year of Young People with attractions including: the Little Stars Ayr Christmas Parade; the Wallace Tower Stage, starring young talent from across South Ayrshire as well as Nicholas McDonald singing in support of the Ayrshire Hospice; the Polar Express; the Newmarket Street Stage; Christmas pop-up market, Enchanted Christmas pop-up stories; the Arran Mall Bandstand Dancers; and not forgetting Santa's Grotto.
For details of all the Christmas events happening in Girvan, Prestwick and Troon visit the website.