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Santa Claus visits Dundee city centre, as Gillies unveils Wullie-themed window

Lord Provost Bob Duncan with Santa, and JJ Brown, left, and Zoe Milton from Showcase The Street.
Lord Provost Bob Duncan with Santa, and JJ Brown, left, and Zoe Milton from Showcase The Street.

The Christmas spirit was well and truly alive across Dundee as Santa flew in to the City Square.

Mr Claus was joined by Lord Provost Bob Duncan at the city centre Christmas tree on Thursday ahead of Friday’s grand light switch-on.

Dancers from Showcase The Street joined in the fun, carrying some of the hand-made lanterns made by local community groups for the annual Christmas torchlight procession.

The troupe will perform their award-winning routines on Friday, just months after winning at the Euro Disney Championships in Paris.

Mr Duncan said he was looking forward to the evening of festive activities.

“I’m totally excited. I feel like I’m now seven again rather than 70,” he said.

“It is bigger and better and more colourful. There are lots of nice things happening for people of all ages.

“You know that Christmas is coming when the tree lights up.

“I personally am hoping everyone has a good time, and I hope it isn’t too cold or wet.”

In addition to the Christmas lights switch-on ceremony, light projections will illuminate the construction detail of Dundee’s newest landmark, V&A Dundee while the city’s oldest surviving building, The Steeple will become the stage for an interactive light show.

The packed programme of events also includes a carnival, fireworks, a big winter warm-up exercise event in City Square, torchlight procession, night market at Slessor Gardens, street theatre performances and carol singing.

Meanwhile, Gillies of Broughty Ferry unveiled its Christmas window for 2016.

Some of the Oor Wullie sculptures that formed the Bucket Trail take the centre stage of the display – including those bought by the Broughty Ferry community, the Fort Hotel, DC Thomson and the John Clark Motor Group – with original artwork by DC Thomson acting as the backdrop.

Visitors to the shop can get a selfie with Wullie, and there is a collection box to help raise money for the ARCHIE Foundation.

SMac_Christmas_Window_Gillies_BroughtFerry

According to director of Gillies, Ewan Philp, preparation for the window has lasted almost 11 months.

“It was always planned to be a Christmas-themed party, but after the success of the Bucket Trail – and as Gillies and Broughty Ferry acquired a few – it became an Oor Wullie party.

“For the past five or six years, we have been putting more effort, time and money into the displays. We enjoy doing it.”

The Wullies will remain in place until close to Christmas.

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