Around 15,000 people thronged along George Street yesterday to celebrate the start of Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival 2018 with Edinburgh's Light Night celebrations. The festival celebrating Christmas and Hogmanay continues until 5th January.
Hundreds of local people performed across four stages, among them Edinburgh’s Saskia Eng of The Voice fame. The event culminated with a fireworks display launched from Charlotte Square Gardens and Eng pushing a huge white, light switch to fire up the city’s Christmas lights.
The afternoon’s acts also included performances from gentleman-juggler Florian Brookes from La Clique Noël – Part Deux which is playing at the Festival Square Spiegeltent and some sassy numbers from the show Kinky Boots ahead of its opening at the Edinburgh Playhouse in December.
There was a total of 24 Edinburgh and Scottish dance and music groups including the Edinburgh’s Got Soul, Pulse of the Place, Elite Dance, Edinburgh Ballet, Bhangra Crew, the National Youth Choir of Scotland East Dunbartonshire Boys Choir and Perth Boys Choir, and Edinburgh’s-own The Phoenix Community Choir. The event was hosted by Forth One Breakfast Show’s Arlene Stuart.
Another attraction that can be found on George Street throughout the Christmas Festival was the Street of Light archway, which this year has been adapted for the first time as a venue for a silent disco, Silent Light, where the lights on the arches are synchronised to music playing through your headphones.
Edinburgh’s Christmas charity partner, NSPCC was also bucket-shaking at Light Night to help and protect children at risk. Voluntary donations make up around 90 per cent of the charity’s funding.