THE Christmas lights in Saltcoats were launched in style - with Santa abseiling from the Town Hall.

In what is thought to be one of the first times in the country, Sunday’s event saw thousands flock to Hamilton Street, Dockhead Street and Countess Street to see all the goings on, street entertainment, music and dancing.

A jam packed schedule culminated with the switch-on in at the town hall and the sheer number of people below was a sight to behold for Mr and Mrs Claus and the three lucky schoolchildren who turned on the lights.

Martha McNicol, Secretary of the Saltcoats Community Action Group, who organised the event spoke to the Herald about the success of the day and how the sheer number of people who made it happen was unbelievable.

Martha said: “It was tremendous, absolutely tremendous.

“The Santa’s Grotto was so busy and when he stepped out on to the balcony at the Town Hall he couldn’t believe his eyes. It worked so well with the help from North Ayrshire Council and all the other relevant bodies.

“We would like to thank everybody who sponsored the event and all the the volunteers who helped on the day.

“The event wouldn’t be the same without the community coming out to support it so we have to thank everyone.

“Dance Mafia were excellent and we need to thank the street entertainers, Little and Large for the Paw Patrol characters, the dinosaurs, the transformers and music and bands that were playing.

“A big thanks goes to all the agencies , including the Coastguard who used their searchlight to find Santa coming out of the sky and of course Santa for the Grotto and the abseil. All in it was a total success.”

Our photographer John Keachie was there on the night. Check out for more photos from the night later this week.