Cash boost for win­ter fes­ti­val

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­

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. oban­win­ter­fes­ti­

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. oban­fes­ti­ 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

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