The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Winter Queen adds magic to town’s festival
Oban’s ninth winter festival got under way this weekend, with organisers saying the town is buzzing.
For the first time in its history, the festival started with a parade, this year on the theme of fantasy, frost and fairy tales. The Winter Queen travelled through town on her unicorn, performing magic and casting spells as shop windows lit up in her wake.
However, unicorns have not displaced the traditional reindeer parade and Christmas lights switch-on, which takes place next weekend.
For the second year, a festival highlight is Winter Woods, a nighttime walking event in the walled garden and grounds of Glencruitten, just outside the town, boasting stories, performances, challenges and a light show.
Pamela Lockhart, chairwoman of Oban Winter Festival, said: “This year it’s bigger, and all three nights sold out immediately.” Mrs Lockhart said the next big excitement is the Haggis and Whisky Festival next weekend.
She said: “Eighteen butchers from across Scotland are competing for the Golden Haggis.
“There will be the Great Haggis Hunt and parade as children dress up and hunt for haggises around the town, while Oban Distillery is open for tastings and talks.”