La Fête dé Noué began with the annual switch-on and was followed by a parade that left the Millennium Town Park at 6.30pm.
It travelled through West’s Centre, along Queen Street and King Street, through Charing Cross, past Liberation Station, up Conway Street and to the Royal Square, before ending at the Weighbridge, where a firework display took place.
Last night also marked the start of late-night shopping, which will continue on each Thursday up until 23 December. Most shops will remain open until 8pm.
Christmas Sunday shopping will return to the town centre this weekend, with many stores open from 10am to 5pm. And Islanders are being encouraged to give their feedback on this year’s St Helier Christmas Windows Competition to help decide which display they think is ‘top of the shops’.
The results of the competition will be announced on Thursday 2 December at the Genuine Jersey Simply Christmas Market, which is due to be held in the Royal Square from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 November and from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 December.
It is scheduled to open from 10am each day until 8pm on Thursdays, 5pm on Sundays and 6pm on other days, and is expected to offer a variety of food, drink, crafts and Christmas gifts, with a live-music accompaniment.
There is also the Vibrant Jersey Small Business Christmas Fayre at the Pomme D’Or Hotel on Sunday 21 and Sunday 28 November.
It will be open from 9am to 6pm and will showcase work by a number of local artisans. It is also supporting two local charities, Age Concern and The Grace Trust.
The Norman Market will return to the Weighbridge, offering products from the Normandy region from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 December.
And throughout the month the town centre will come alive with the sound of music from the Jersey Scout Band, the Dolphin Marching Band, Brass Souls, traditional Jèrriais carollers Les Chaboleurs and others.
Murray Norton, chief executive of Jersey Chamber of Commerce, described the success of Christmas trading as ‘crucially important’.
He said: ‘It’s a very important marker in the calendar to remind people of the great shopping in St Helier.
‘But for hospitality and retail in particular, most of the money they make in the six months from October to March is earned
in December. It’s a crucially important month.’
He added: ‘It’s safety first, but if we can manage to work and operate during this difficult time, then we will be supporting retail and supporting jobs.’