The lights go on to spread a little Christmas cheer

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The lights go on in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire this weekend, marking the countdown to Christmas 2014.

First up is The Avenue’s festive fun day, kicking off at 2.30pm on Sunday (November 16).

Comedian Des Clarke will host proceedings alongside local singer and X Factor contestant Emily Middlemas, as well as Scott Fletcher and Joanne McGuinness, playing Peter Pan and Wendy in the King’s Theatre Christmas panto.

The big lights switch-on takes place at 4pm — but not before Santa has made his grand entrance at 3pm, marking the official opening of the grotto (open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday onwards until Christmas).

Michelle McCabe, manager at the Newton Mearns shopping centre, said: “Our Christmas lights switch-on is always a fantastic family occasion.

“We’ll have lots of fun and games, competitions and giveaways on the day, including four tickets to Peter Pan on Hogmanay.

“Mall mascots Newton and Fearn will be getting into the pantomime spirit by dressing up as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell — bring the kids along to see them.”

Glasgow will be showing how much it loves Christmas on the same day — and those 12,000 lucky enough to have secured ballot tickets for the big switch-on can expect appearances from Melanie Masson, Fairy Godmother in SECC panto Cinderella, the East 40 choir, UK Theatre School and Hamley’s Elves from 6pm onwards.

For more info on the lights switch-on and coming festive events, visit www.glasgowloveschristmas.com.

Other dates for the diary include November 19, when the lights go on in Pollokshields, and November 28, when Shawlands and Queen’s Park take on some Christmas cheer.

The I Love Clarkston Christmas Extravanganza promises fun for all the family on November 22, with a visit from Santa and performances by school choirs and local musicians from 12.30pm until 5pm — ending in a firework finale.