Every year the innovative Oban Winter Festival has been better than the last. For 2013, it’s adding St Andrew’s Day Events to its growing programme
The Winter Festival aims to showcase creative talent and entertain locals and visitors alike. Diary dates for this year are 22nd November – 1st December . This year’s festival boasts a packed programme of cultural events including parades, ceilidhs, dance, live music, art exhibitions, street performances and children’s shows. Locals and visitors are invited to take part in a cultural celebration that is certain to light up the dark winter nights.
Local children have designed the ’Big Lantern’ for the parade this year and will help artist, Tara Coia, Learning and Events officer at Dunollie House, to build the lantern.
New to the programme this year is a family competition to make a Winter/Nativity scene in a shoebox, entries should be submitted to the Corran Halls on 16th November and will then be displayed throughout the town.
Highlights of the festival this year will include street markets, parades, light shows, fairgrounds and – new to the programme this year the St Andrew’s Day Celebrations, taking place on 30th November and 1st December.
Saturday celebrations will begin at 10am with the Whisky Products market in the Old Distillery cask room, where shoppers will be entertained by talented children from the local Feis group playing traditional Scottish music. At 2pm the St Andrew’s Dance show with 200 young people taking to the stage showcasing their talents kicks off in the Corran Halls.
There’s a chance to join one of the Oban Bay Historical Walking Tours, taking an interactive stroll down the years with local historian/poet Norman Bissell, several tours will be taking place during the week.
The highlight of the Saturday Celebrations will be the light shows, the spectacle of the largest saltire ever seen on the West Coast, beaming shafts of light will dance in the sky across the water and the wonderful McCaigs Tower will be transformed into a magical lantern.
At 7.30 on Saturday 30th, straight after the Lightshow , the doors open for the St Andrews Day Grand Ceilidh, where Oban Pipe Band welcome party goers to the Corran Halls for a night of top class entertainment, featuring traditional music, song and dancing to help us celebrate Scotlands’ national day in style- an event not to be missed.
The Festival Finale on Sunday night will also feature a specially commissioned soundscape of music poetry and ambience, created by acclaimed local artistes including musician Aidan O’Rourke and historian/poet Norrie Bissell. The soundtrack will include performances by local performers and completed with audience participation.
Events are being held in many locations around the town, with help from professionals and volunteers alike.