ORGANISERS of the Scott’s Selkirk Christmas extravaganza have confirmed that the main activities this year will be restricted to one day instead of two.
The fair, which includes stalls and entertainment, has been held over the first Saturday and Sunday of December since it was started as a millennium project.
It will still be staged at the same time of the month, but activities on the Sunday will be reduced.
Viv Ross of the Scott’s Selkirk committee told TheSouthern: “To move it to another time of the year would mean that it would lose so much of the magic created when the town prepares itself for the festive season – the lights, window decorations and the Christmas market play such a large part in creating the atmosphere we’re trying to preserve.”
But she admitted: “In recent years it has been increasingly difficult to sustain the momentum over a whole weekend. The weather can be against us and, in the current economic climate, visitors tend only to come to the town one day rather than two. The Saturday is usually very busy, but the crowds on the Sunday have been building later and later in the day – and in many cases people only arrive shortly before the fireworks begin.
“Understandably, our shopkeepers are reluctant to open on the Sunday, as it may be well into the afternoon before any shoppers appear.”
And she confirmed: “We have therefore taken the fairly momentous – but we think very exciting – decision to hold the main part of the event on the Saturday only. This will be a considerably longer day than normal, with music and entertainment going on well into the evening, culminating with the fireworks display much later than usual.
“Most of the entertainment, normally spread over two days, will be all on the Saturday – and the aim is to provide a wonderful, fun-filled family day out that will revitalise the event which has become a very important part of the Selkirk calendar.”
Organisers say there will be Christmas stalls in the County Pend and Market Place, street entertainment and Meg Dods’ kitchen, plus performances in the County Hotel and Connections. The concert normally held on the Saturday night will be rescheduled and a date will be confirmed later.
There will be some events on the Sunday – the church services, the popular court case reconstructions, court cases in the Town Hall, and communal carol singing in the Market Place after dark.
Ms Ross commented: “We do hope people will support our efforts – and I hope shopkeepers will stay open that little bit later and help us create a great atmosphere after dark, with twinkling lights and bustling streets.
“Everyone can help either by donating, sponsoring or volunteer to assist on the day itself. The important thing though is to join in, or perform – in costume if you can.”
A full programme will be printed in November.