THE festive period has taken one step closer after the official Oswestry Christmas Lights Switch-on saw hundreds of people cram onto the Bailey Head on Thursday.

With performances from schools across the town, as well as Borderland Theatre and OsRocks plus many more, the huge crowds were treated to a great night of free entertainment.

Whittington-born April Luong, who is a Miss Galaxy International, joined with MC James Bond, Oswestry mayor Councillor Olly Rose plus a minion and other mascots, were all on hand to turn the lights on for the town.


Cllr Rose said she was delighted with how the evening went.

Border Counties Advertizer: Cllr Olly Rose with Cambrian Rotary Club's Father Christmas. Cllr Olly Rose with Cambrian Rotary Club's Father Christmas. (Image: Cambrian Rotary Club.)

She said: “It’s a bit different as mayor but it’s so nice to talk to the kids while they’re waiting backstage to go on and they’re all hyper-excited.

“It takes me back to when I used to do this as a kid and thinking what it feels like.

“They’ve all been really good and the quality has been brilliant.”

She admitted that some of the youngsters were a bit confused by her robes, which left her delighted.

She added: “Some people still think I’m a pirate.

Border Counties Advertizer: April Luong and James Bond. April Luong and James Bond. (Image: Newsquest)

There’s a few people who are dressed up but they liked my robes and they liked looking at St Oswald on my chains, especially the pupils from St Oswald School because it’s part of their school.

I quite fancied being a pirate when I first put the robes on – that might be next year’s gig.

I’m so glad to see so many people here – I think Oswestry people come out to support.

Last weekend, when it was tipping down for Remembrance Sunday and there were masses of people there.

Border Counties Advertizer: The crowds packed into the Bailey Head. The crowds packed into the Bailey Head. (Image: Newsquest)

It shows that people from Oswestry show up – we’re a bit more of a stalwart in Britain now and people get outside.

It’s great to see and I’m looking forward to the many events coming up and they’re as varied as possible.

April looked resplendent in her crown and sash and said she was delighted to be asked.

She said: “This is a bit of a cherry on the cake event for me because Oswestry is my home town and it means so much to me.

“It’s a special moment for me and my heart burst.

“I was very nervous but that’s part of the reason why I do the pageants because you see people who are confident and have it together.

“But I don’t – I get scared too and just want to put one front in of the other.”

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Former BBC Radio Shropshire man James added: “I just love the whole night because it brings the whole of Oswestry together – everyone gets involved and they sing their hearts out.

“I speak to all the youngsters before they go on when they’re a bit nervous but we calm them down and tell them everyone is there to support them.

“Not just their family but the whole town is there to help and they love it and it means the place comes alive for Christmas.”