Lights go out on Peebles torchlight Hogmanay parade

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For the past three years Peebles has been ablaze with light, music and thousands of torchbearers bringing in the new year at Hogmanay.

But that won’t be the case this Auld Year’s Night after organisers of the annual Hogmanay torchlight parade decided not to hold this year’s event in a bid to give volunteers a break.

Fiona Rae of Peebles-based Hillside Outside, the event organiser, said: “We are not holding the torchlight parade this year. We have decided to allow the volunteers and organisers the opportunity to have a year off.

It requires quite a lot of volunteer support and as such we felt that taking a year’s break would be beneficial to all those involved.”

“We hope to keep the torchlight procession a special, popular and of course viable tradition by only happening every two years. Updates to follow early next year.”

Since 2016 the town’s celebratory procession has created a dazzling river of fire through the town’s streets and along the banks of the River Tweed and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Last year, torch supply problems, a lack of sponsorship and staff shortages meant the event came close to cancellation before pledges of support from over 20 local companies, and the introduction of extra glow stocks, brought the parade back from the brink in time for Auld Year’s Night.

Well over 1,000 people went on to enjoy the party atmosphere in the High Street where food stalls, live music and late night cafe openings kept the crowd entertained before the pipers from Peebles Ex-Servicemen’s Pipe Band led the crowd through the streets and along the banks of the River Tweed to bring 2017 to a fiery close.

And while those numbers were down from almost 2,000 the year before, that event raised £1,200 which was donated to three different myalgic encephalomyelitis charities.

The year before proceeds were split between Peebles’ Beltane organisation, Christmas lights association, Round Table and peace group.