FESTIVE cheer will be spread throughout much of East Lothian this weekend as a number of communities switch on their Christmas lights.

Dunbar, East Linton, Haddington, North Berwick and Tranent are among those bringing a little bit of sparkle to residents.

Dirleton’s Christmas tree will be put in place today (Thursday), although there is no official switch-on event planned.

It will be a distanced occasion for North Berwick residents when the Christmas lights are turned on at a virtual event on Saturday.

The town’s community council invited residents to send photos and videos of their favourite North Berwick memories of the past year, which have been collated in a short film to share on Saturday.

The link to watch the video will be available on Saturday from 4pm via the community council’s Facebook page. A Facebook account is not necessary.

For residents in Prestonpans, the Woods family’s annual Christmas lights display will light up the town on Saturday at 5pm.

The lights at the home, at 24 Longdykes Road, will be on every evening, 4.30-10pm, until January 1.

The owners added that visitors should expect added surprises at the switch-on.

No plans have been confirmed for the town’s main Christmas lights switch-on.

Festive spirit will fill Dunbar town centre on Sunday with the town’s “biggest display” of Christmas lights.

More than three hours of entertainment will be offered on High Street ahead of the 6.05pm switch-on.

Coronavirus restrictions have impacted the volunteers’ plans this year, including the ability to fundraise.

Despite that, Graham Adams, chairman of Dunbar Christmas Lights committee, said volunteers had been working hard throughout the year to ensure there was a display the town could be proud of. He said: “I think it is something the town needs just for a pick-me-up.

“It will be the biggest display we have ever had.”

Entertainment starts at 3pm when a street market and fun rides open.

Dance Discovery will perform while a street ceilidh with Graeme Armstrong Ceilidh Band and Lutrek Live Statues is also planned.

Dalkeith and Monktonhall Brass Band will play while Starz Entertainment will also be on High Street.

At 5.55pm, the Rev Suzie Garrard Fletcher, minister of the parish of Dunglass, will give a minister’s welcome before George Robertson, who led Dunbar’s community resilience team, and Dunbar Primary School pupil Lucy Brown are on hand to switch the lights on.

A spokesperson for the Christmas lights team said: “We kindly ask that all visitors take measures to ensure they remain safe and well.”

A lucky schoolgirl will have the honour of ensuring East Linton is basking in a festive glow on Sunday. Eve Sutherland, a P7 pupil at the village’s primary school, won a competition to design a poster for the Christmas lights committee.

The lights will be switched on at 5pm at The Square.

A spokesperson for the Christmas lights group was delighted to see the switch-on return after last year’s Covid-related cancellation.

They said: “There will be stalls from 4pm, including a tombola, lucky dip, face painting, a ‘wine or water’ stall, and a raffle for a luxury hamper of Christmas goodies. There will be mulled wine, Prosecco, beer or soft drinks, entertainment from the community choir and a film for the children.

“All proceeds will go to the Christmas lights fund. Come and support the village’s effort to brighten up the Christmas period.”

Festive spirit will come alive in Haddington on Sunday when its Christmas lights are switched on.

A virtual switch-on, which will be shown live on Facebook, is planned as concerns remain in place about the coronavirus pandemic.

A Christmas tree is already in place outside the Corn Exchange, with plans for a second tree to be located in the Nungate.

Graham Samuel, from the town’s community council, said the switch-on would take place at 6.30pm and encouraged people to watch on the Haddington Events Group’s Facebook page.

The community councillor praised the work of the town’s volunteers, led by Steve Gibson, who ensure Haddington is sparkling each festive season.

Residents of Tranent will also be surrounded by magical lights and the sound of Christmas carols when the town’s Christmas tree is lit up on Sunday evening.

Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council’s Christmas tree switch-on takes place between 5pm and 6pm at Winton Place, with attendees being welcomed with the sound of carol singing from the Clark Community Choir.

Alcohol-free mulled wine and mince pies will be available after the switch-on at Thomson’s on High Street.

A living Christmas tree in Longniddry has been planted in the village; however, no official switch on or parade will take place. Instead, the lights will be switched on at 5pm on Wednesday by community councillors.

Meanwhile, other communities will be switching on their lights the following weekend.

In Gifford, the switch-on event is next Friday (December 3) at 6pm at the village hall. On the same day, Wallyford’s Christmas lights are switched on, with a parade leaving from the miners’ club at 6.30pm.

Aberlady residents are being encouraged to switch on their outdoor Christmas lights at the same time next Saturday (December 4) at 5pm. The light-up event will be filmed by drone and shared to social media.

And next Sunday (December 5), Cockenzie and Port Seton’s Christmas tree lights are switched on at the town’s harbour, at a time to be confirmed.

But in Musselburgh there will be no torchlight parade or official ceremony this year due to a hold-up with delivery of materials to repair some of the lights. Once these have been delivered, the lights will be switched on at a date to be confirmed.

Plans are still to be confirmed for any switch-on event in Gullane.