Helensburgh’second Winter Festival Christmas Market will be taking full advantage of the revitalised seafront this year.
The newly created parking bays and widened pavements will make the perfect setting for the traditional market with 40 stalls filling the bays and bringing Christmas to West Clyde Street.
Stalls are being snapped up fast with only a few left so anyone planning to come along with a business shold download the booking form from the festival website and get it in while there are still spaces available.
The Continental Market will be back this year and will be in the car park in front of the swimming pool while the popular hog roast and ‘Feastival’ will be on the site of the former Mariner’s pub.
The reindeer which brought Christmas alive for festival goers last year will be back for 2013 and will be provided with their own space in the skate park area for the Sunday of the two day market.
The annual Santa Dash will see the runners set off down the pier and out into the town – the exact route for this year is still to be finalised.
There will be street entertainment and an open stage where local groups, including choirs and dance troupes, are already booking their spaces to perform. Anyone wanting a performance space should leave a message on the Festival Facebook page with details, and preferred time slot.
The Festival will take place between 22nd November and 1st December – and will once again start with the Christmas Lights switch-on and a parade of floats down Sinclair Street and through the town.
The lights event is being organised under the auspices of the Friends of the Victoria Hall who have also organised the now annual Food and Craft Fair in the Victoria Hall on the Saturday and the Festive Dance Show, staged by the Margaret Rose School of Dance, on the Sunday.
One of the FoVH ‘Elves’ says: ‘Last year our Festival of Light attracted some 3,000 visitors (Police estimates not ours) and this year we are expecting increased numbers.
‘This year we have a professional sound stage, Choir for Christmas Carols and a significant Military Marching Band. ( Santa is very pleased with this).
‘We use this occasion to remind visitors that there is a Food and Craft Fair on at the Victoria Hall the very next day, where they can get an early start on buying their Christmas presents.
‘We are trying to make this Christmas Food and Craft Fair on November 23 a festive event so crafters all are encouraged to enter into the spirit and dress for the occasion.
‘This is followed by a concert on the Sunday also in the Victoria Hall by the Margaret Rose School of Dance. Entry to the Craft Fair is free but the Sunday Concert is ticketed. Details of this can be obtained from Margaret on email@example.com. Santa will be at both events.’
Stalls are open to local crafters, charities and groups as well as traders – and there will still be a £30 deposit required to secure the place although this will be returned during the event.
Entries are open for the annual photographic competition and this year organisers are looking for photos of Helensburgh in Winter and/or photos from last year’s festival. All entries will be featured on the website.
Please email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
The organising committee is looking for volunteers to help out over the two days of the Market and for other groups and organisations who might be willing to arrange peripheral events under the Winter Festival banner.
Anyone who would like to join the ‘Penguin Crew’ should email email@example.com with their contact details.