The record numbers who turned out on Thursday November 21st to see the Christmas lights turned on in Douglas were treated to an added surprise, the announcement that the carnival will be coming to town next year on Saturday July 19th.
The ceremony, sponsored by Celton Manx, saw a crowd of 3,500 gather outside Douglas town hall to enjoy songs by local singer Rebecca Forrest, carols from Douglas Town Band, and a selection of numbers from Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, this year’s Gaiety Theatre pantomime. Celton Manx head of business development manager Mike Stanton (pictured right) extended his best wishes for the season and the Mayor’s chaplain the Rev Les Lawrinson offered a prayer to reaffirm the true meaning of Christmas before Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Carol Malarkey JP, said a few words before switching on the lights at 7pm.
In her speech Her Worship thanked the Rev Lawrinson for offering a reminder that Christmas was not just about the excitement of shopping and consumption but also about peace and goodwill. ‘I hope we can all remember that very important balance,’ she added.
Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘This year’s Christmas lights ceremony attracted record numbers - 3,500 - and was an outstanding success thanks to sponsors Celton Manx and the tremendous hard work put in by many Council officers and staff, not least those from the electrical services section who have created some truly magnificent displays that include 6.5 miles of festoon with 8,000 lamps.
‘The ceremony not only marked the “official” start to Christmas in the capital but also the public launch of Douglas Carnival 2104 with a specially commissioned logo. We hope it will serve as a beacon and a call to action for people to come up with all kinds of imaginative ideas for what has the potential to be a spectacular contribution to the programme for Island of Culture 2014.’
(Douglas Carnival application forms will be available early in the New Year).