Multiple towns and villages across Powys kicked off the festive season with their official Christmas lights switch on ceremonies.

Both Welshpool and Newtown held Winter Festivals to mark the turning on of the town’s Christmas lights, held on Saturday, November 25.

Music, market stalls and attractions were on display for both switch on ceremonies, with Welshpool flipping the switch at 5pm following an afternoon of Winter Festival celebrations, while Newtown turned their own lights on an hour later at 6pm.

Town Mayor Cllr Nick Howells switched on the lights from a stage just outside the town hall. The new lights were purchased earlier in 2023 by the council after the previous set of lights, which were almost ten years old, were deemed unfit for use.

County Times: A band performs in front of the town hall after Welshpool turned on its Christmas lights.

Kimberly Wright, Welshpool Town Council’s events, planning and marketing officer said shortly after the switch on: “The whole event has gone pretty well I think, especially as we have had a good turnout throughout the day.

“It makes all the organisation worthwhile and with new lights to unveil the whole thing is that little bit more exciting.”

Cllr Alison Davies added: “A big event like this goes to show what an incredible group effort it is to put this all together.

“There are over 6,000 light bulbs above Welshpool streets and our Operations Manager Paul McGrath and his team have been making sure each and every one of them are ready to go, so a huge thanks goes out to him and his team for making sure everything is in working order.”

County Times: Newtown's 2023 Christmas lights.

An hour after Welshpool, Newtown unveiled its own illuminations for the 2023 festive season, where Newtown Freeman Rory Evans turned on the street lights at 6pm.

He said: “I was honoured to be asked to switch on the lights. As we got closer to the big moment I had to entertain the audience a little but as a storyteller and tour guide I’m used to doing some crowd work.

“But once they were officially turned on, the entire display looks wonderful and to switch them on with a big event like this, it all really puts you in the festive mood.”

County Times: Newtown Freeman Rory Evans.

Newtown Town Councillor Chris Jones spent the event riding around on an illuminated boke, circling the street during the festivities.

He said: “You certainly get a very good view of the street and how well lit it is from cycling round.

County Times: Newtown Town Councillor Chris Jones.

“It also lets me see the turnout for the event and that’s wonderful as well because I can see so many local people out and enjoying themselves, as well as how busy and bustling the town centre is. It’s a wonderful event.”