Switched On Sunday in Innerleithen

THE switch will be thrown on Innerleithen’s Christmas lights on Sunday during a packed programme of events to herald the arrival of the festive period in the town.

This is Innerleithen’s third Switched On Sunday and proceedings begin with Tweedvale Pipe Band calling everyone to gather from 1.15pm at the Memorial Hall for the 1.30pm start of the judging of the fancy dress competition and handing out of the treasure trail.

The fancy dress theme is Switched On Sunday. St Ronan’s Primary School choir will entertain before Standard Bearer Aaron Somerville and his Lass, Narelle Allan, announce the fancy dress winners. Treasure trail entries must be handed in at the Caerlee Mill reception by 3.30pm.

At 2pm the KICK Common Ridings Cycle Ride around the town begins, leaving from the Memorial Hall. This event has been organised by the Innerleithen MTB team.

The Memorial Hall garden is the focus of other outdoor activities – the cycle pump track, climbing wall and pony rides – while Horne’s Pleasure Rides with be in Caerlee Mill car park. The Masons are offering a chance to warm up with hot refreshments as well as hosting Robert Smail’s Printing Works’ Get Crafty and young band Beard of Zu, who perform at 2.30pm.

The under-fives can take their grown-ups to enjoy the Book Bug Christmas Rhymetime at Backcroft B&B at 2pm.

The Vale Club hosts Innerleithen Cubs who will be offering refreshments alongside cake and candy, face-painting, second-hand toys and books, and a range of Christmas craft gifts made by the Cubs themselves. Tweeddale Folk Group will be supporting the youngsters by performing at 3.30pm.

Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society will be taking over the Union Club function room for members to provide coffee and mince pies while entertaining with their Christmas repertoire. The society will be accompanied by members of St Ronan’s Silver Band who will also be performing in the High Street at 3pm.

Tweed Valley Male Voices are making a welcome return to Mercer Court at 3.30pm.

Local Rotarians are to have hot food on offer from their shelter in the High Street, the Bike Lodge will be hosting an information point/exhibition on the AimUp progress and Innerleithen First Responders will be taking a space at the Bike Lodge to raise funds and awareness of this new service for the town. The Silver Band will gather folk for the switching-on of the festive lights at 4.30pm before leading the parade to Innerleithen Church of Scotland for the community carol service at 5pm.

There is also evening entertainment at St Ronan’s Hotel, Traquair Arms and Tweedside Hotel.

For more information, look out for posters and programmes, go to innerleithenevents@hotmail.co.uk or the Switched On Innerleithen Facebook page.