From 16th and 25th November Oban will be in full Winter Festival fig which, for 2012, brings back the days of Victorian confidence, empire, engineering, entrepreneurs and explorers.
All of this could not be more appropriate for a town whose businesses have voted in the first Business Improvement District [BID] in Scotland to include everything within its 30 mph area; and which is a nub for ferries to islands inner and outer.
There will be 60 events in 1o0 days, with steam trains; with Kilchrennan primary school [on 15th November] taking the train to Oban, walking along the Esplanade in victorian costumes to Dunollie Castle – where a victorian classroom will await them.
Oban’s shops are getting ready to dress their windows (and themselves) and are planning what their 10 day ‘limited edition’ product will be – for example: Jackson the butcher will have a winter festival sausage; Purdies a special candle, The Chocolate Shop an unusual chocolate etc.
Each shop will be carrying a window poster – with the Coolio mascot on it – advertising their offer for the festival period.
There will be buskers with music in the streets, children’s entertainers, pipe bands, choirs and lights.
Hotels are putting on special offers and offering free accommodation for performers.
It’s going to have to be all muffs, bonnets, big skirts, bustles, velvets, ankle boots, top hats, fob watches and lanterns – all perfect for winter.
Then there’s the mulled wine and the scent of cloves.
And how appropriate to make the railway and the pier the focus of such a theme.
The organisers are saying: ‘Its going to be great!’ Who’s not going to believe that.