It's official - it's CHRISTMAS in Boston
The illuminated flock of birds was spectacular, but it was the enthusiasm of the hundreds of children which made "Christmas" night in Boston brilliant.
The night sky was filled with brightly-lit swirling, whirling Christmas birds and the second annual Mayflower 400-inspired Illuminate parade, organised by Transported, the Boston arts organisation, was voted a huge success as giant paper-sculptured birds, lit from within, converged on the Market Place
Last year the festive season was launched with a parade of fish, waves and stars, making way for a giant model of the Mayflower - the ship which took the Pilgrim Fathers to America.
Boston celebrated its connection with the settlement of modern-day America this year with a parade of swooping doves, signifying peace and liberty sought by the Pilgrims, and swallows, to symbolise hope and migration
The two marching columns approached the Market Place from Central Park and from across St Botolph's footbridge to signal the switch-on of the town's Christmas tree lights by Boston's newest Honorary Freeman of the Borough, Alison Fairman
Christmas fun in the town centre started earlier in the day with a Christmas market, fairground rides for children, face painting and a visit from Santa, who greeted good girls and boys in his grotto. It continued with free entertainment for the crowd from the stage
A choir on the stage in the shadow of the Stump sang Beyond the Horizon, the Mayflower song composed by a local musician and songwriter.
Different groups, including Wrangle School, Boston West Academy, Wyberton School, St Thomas' School, St Giles Academy, Boston Explorers and Fishtoft Parish Council had worked with artists to create their own bird lanterns to carry in the parade.
LincsFM hosted the Market Place event while Endeavour FM hosted a follow-on lighting-up event in Pescod Square
Cllr Paul Skinner, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for the town centre, summed up the evening with one word: "Great."
He added: "Despite these austere times and strict constraints on budgets, it was another spectacular Christmas event in the town centre.
"Everyone enjoyed it, especially the children. It was totally innocent fun, and a real pleasure to witness. They were so loud, and obviously enjoying every minute of it. It shows what can happen when Boston puts its mind to it - we know how to party."
He praised all those behind the event, Transported, borough council staff and a huge team of volunteers.
The festivals will culminate in a huge international celebration in 2020 to commemorate the sailing of the Mayflower, and the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in America. For more information about Boston's connection to the Mayflower story, visit www.mayflower400uk.com/boston/
If you cannot get into the town centre to see the Christmas projections, check out the show on the Corporation Building which we have filmed for you on https://twitter.com/Bostonboro
Pictures by Andrew Malkin; Nathan Bryant, Black Cat Designs