A rejuvenated show of community spirit means Selkirk will look better than ever this Christmas with new lights and novel decorations set to be unveiled at its inaugural switch-on event.
A far cry from last year’s turnout of five volunteers, more than 60 Souters turned out to help decorate the town on Sunday, proving that many hands, and a few ladders, do indeed make light work, installing the new overhead lights in just four hours.
Caroline Penman from Selkirk Illuminations, the group of volunteers behind the town’s Christmas lights, was delighted with the increased show of support, not only from the volunteers, but from local businesses who provided hot drinks and bacon rolls and use of their facilities.
The group began fundraising back in January, holding pop-up shops, a bingo night and collecting donations from local businesses to raise more than £4,500 for the town’s new LED lights.
Looking forward to unveiling the new decorations at the town’s first ever switch on celebrations, Caroline told the Wee Paper: “All the other Borders towns do something big for their switch-on, so we thought we should get something organised too.
“This is the first time we have ever done anything like this, so we can only build on it from here.”
The event begins at 3pm in Market Place where Selkirk Royal Burgh Standard Bearer Rory Monks and his attendants will be on hand to help Santa greet visitors, and musical entertainment will come from Selkirk Silver Band, Selkirk Pipe Band, Deer Street and Selkirk Amateur Operatic Society.
Entries of the primary school jumper design competition will be on display in the Fleece, and the winning child will turn on the lights at 4.30pm.
However, there is still more to be done ahead of the event, and volunteers are being asked to meet in the Square again this Sunday at 10.30am to further decorate the town with creations from the Souter Stomers, affectionately known as the Yarn Bombers.
Caroline added: “They have been knitting and crocheting all year for this and it’s going to be just amazing.
“They have made 1,800 pom-poms plus giant Christmas stockings, snow flakes and other decorations too.
“This will be the only town in the Borders to be decorated like this!”