Cash boost for winter festival
OBAN’S 10- day winter festival received a £3,500 cash boost from Scottish Sea Farms to cover the cost of street entertainment. The festival, from November 1827, contributes more than £1m to the local economy. Chairwoman Pamela Lockhart said: ‘Sponsorship support is really important to us, as the costs of putting on a good festival increase every year.’
FRESH from winning at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, Oban’s Winter Festival committee has called for children and adults to get ready for its brolly parade and best-dressed shop window competition.
The festival organisers won the award for Best Cultural Event or Festival at a ceremony on Friday in the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, where Mull pub MacGochans was also named the friendliest bar, and the Inver Restaurant near Strachur was named Best Restaurant Experience.
Delighted by the win, the Winter Festival’s chairwoman, Pamela Lockhart, encouraged shopkeepers to dress their windows for this year’s competition, themed on ‘ a taste of winter’. Windows will be judged by Visit Scotland on November 18, and the winning prize is a magnum of Champagne, sponsored by the Columba Hotel.
Bring your decorated umbrella and join in the March of the Brollies. The family parade, which will leave the Corran Halls at 5pm on Sunday November 27, will be accompanied by Oban High School Pipe Band.
A fun brolly-decorating workshop to help people decorate their umbrellas will be held on Monday November 21 in the Rockfield Centre. All materials are free but spaces are limited, so to secure a space register at www. obanwinterfestival.eventbrite.co.uk
For those wishing to get ahead with Christmas shopping, the festival is hosting a feast of markets, starting on Saturday November 19 with the Oban Winter Festival Scottish food and craft market, including live music, in the Oban Distillery cask and old milling rooms from 10am to 4pm. Nearby, the Victorian market runs from 11am to 4.30pm at the Rockfield Centre, and the Argyll Animal Aid craft fair takes place in the Corran Halls from 11am to 3pm.
Sunday November 20 then sees a food and craft market in the Corran Halls from 11am to 4pm.
But who will be crowned champion of the Winter Festival’s first clootie dumpling competition? Hand your wrapped dumpling on a paper plate into the Corran Halls at 10.30am for the judging to start at 11am.
On the following weekend, Sunday November 27, the festival craft market fills the Corran Halls from noon to 4pm, and Oban Distillery’s food and music court will also offer hot food, Pimms, soup and music.
From Friday to Sunday, Oban Craft Collective presents ‘ The Room at Christmas’, a curated exhibition and sale of craft by local artists and makers, from noon to 5pm in the Rockfield Centre.
For more information on the Oban Winter Festival programme, visit its website www. obanfestival.com and pick up a copy of next week’s Oban Times.
The winner of last year’s best- dressed shop window competition was the Kitchen Garden on George Street. Photograph: Colin Cooper Photography