Jedburgh celebrates Christmas with a wonderful winter festival

Elves Charlie Lauder and Chloe Cooper with Winter Princess Abigail Stephenson.
Elves Charlie Lauder and Chloe Cooper with Winter Princess Abigail Stephenson.

Families flocked to Jedburgh’s winter festival to welcome Santa’s Christmas parade and enjoy the unveiling of the town’s new lights on Friday evening.

Now in its third year in its current guise, the event, organised by the town’s Rotary Club, Community Council, Jed Traders Association and Jedburgh Grammar School, saw hundreds of families flock to the Square for the arrival of Santa and the Christmas parade.

Mia Sinclair, Clare Wylie, Sophie Wood, Andrew and Lachlan Sinclair in Jedburgh on Friday night.

Mia Sinclair, Clare Wylie, Sophie Wood, Andrew and Lachlan Sinclair in Jedburgh on Friday night.

Following the Jedburgh Royal British Legion pipe band, Santa was joined by Jedburgh Grammar School’s head girl Abigail Stephenson, who took on the role of winter princess for the evening. Abigail and Santa were led through the town in the sleigh, once again pulled by winter festival stalwart Hercules, the Shetland pony. Not phased in the slightest by his precious cargo and the large crowds, Hercules’s owner Judith King, from Kings Equestrian Centre, said: “Hercules gets so excited at this time of year when he knows its time for him to pull the sleigh! He loves it!”
After the switch-on by Abigail and Santa, singers from Oxnam Valley Voices performed carols, before the parade continued round to the town hall for the Christmas craft fair, entertainment and organised fun and games at Santa’s grotto.

The lower floor of the town hall was transformed into a festive haven once again with Santa’s grotto, face painting, and games including pin the nose on Rudolph, reindeer horn hoopla and splat the rat.

Children could also decorate biscuits and make their own Christmas cards

Meanwhile upstairs, 24 different stalls offered plenty of festive gift ideas while the newly formed children’s choir, made up of more than 50 pupils from the town’s primary schools, sang Christmas carols.

Wayne Ballantyne with daughter Scarlett in Jedburgh.

Wayne Ballantyne with daughter Scarlett in Jedburgh.

The choir was formed by Heather Morris back in July to enter Jethart’s Got Talent during the festival, however they proved so popular it was decided they should continue rehearsing and re-form for the Christmas celebrations.

One of the organisers, Marion Armitage said: “We were pleased with the turnout of folk that came out on the night and it all went well.

“With Jedburgh Grammar School head teacher, Susan Oliver, being involved this year we got some of the older kids helping out which was great and we also had the children’s choir from the different primary schools. They are doing really will, which is nice.”

She added: “It was a lot of different groups working with each other for the community, which is that it should all be about.

“Abigail looked lovely as the winter princess and Hercules always does his job very well.

“Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves.”

The Christmas window competition, judged by the head pupils team at Jedburgh Grammar School, was won by Grove Antiques on High Street with Stems the florists just across the road coming runner-up.