In pictures: Lights bring festive sparkle to Islington

Father Christmas visits Archway

Father Christmas visits Archway - Credit: Archant

The great annual switch-on has taken place – and Islington is suddenly ablaze with festive light displays.

This year, the borough laid on a series of “switch-ons” – each slightly different.

They featured dance, live music, fairground rides and parades; and for children there was a chance to decorate costumes and have their faces painted.

Father Christmas made special visits to both Archway and Caledonian Road. And, at Archway, where the lights were switched on by Mayor Cllr Richard Greening, residents were treated to a performance by St John’s Primary School choir and a hula hoop display by Nula Hula.

At the Nag’s Head, Deputy Mayor, Cllr Kat Fletcher flipped the switch at a sparkling event that included market stalls, fairground rides, live music and a visit from the Christmas Fairy. Musicians included Angel-based solo artist Sam Bragg, pianist Nick Hersham and the Seventh Day Adventist Choir.

At Finsbury Park, where the lights were jointly switched on by the Mayor and Aretha Ayeh, who plays Rapunzel in an upcoming production at the Park Theatre, children prepared their costumes for a special switch-on parade.

Entertainment included a lightsaber demo by Wu Shi Taiji Quan and Qi Gong, as well as performances from the Islington drumming group Drum Works and reggae duo Remi and Jules.

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At Highbury Barn the lights were switched on by Deputy Mayor Cllr Kat Fletcher alongside carol singing, in an event organised by former councillor Terry Stacy.

And at Tufnell Park, community panto dame Dan Jacob turned on the festive display.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, the council’s executive member for economic and community development, said: “The Christmas lights celebrations were a marvel this year, and I was just as impressed as the crowds were at the dazzling performances, music and festive stalls laid on. These events brought genuine festive spirit and colour to Islington’s town centres, which are now all geared up and looking suitably sparkly for the Christmas period. I would like to thank everyone, from businesses to voluntary organisations, who pulled out the stops to make these events happen.”