Christmas light confusion

Last year's Spectacular
Last year's Spectacular

Plans for this year’s Montrose Christmas Spectacular are well under way but organisers say they have been left in dark as far as the Christmas lights switch on is concerned.

The event will take place over the weekend of December 12 and 13 and this year will include an ice rink.

Organisers say they would have liked to include the turning on of the town Christmas lights in the event but it was felt the event was too far into December to have them switch on.

The group have told us they do not know what is happening as far as the official light switch on.

Tommy Stewart said: “Quite a number of years ago, the business/retailers association organised the Christmas Lights switch-on, and there were a couple of years where it had to be cancelled due to adverse weather. I’m led to believe that due to a lack in numbers, the business/retailers association decided they could no longer do it.

“Last year, we had planned to coincide it with the Montrose Christmas Spectacular which was originally planned for the November 30, however, due to things out with our control, we were not able to proceed with that date for the Spectacular. Rather than cancel the event altogether, we re-arranged the Spectacular for later in December, but still went ahead with the lights switch-on on the original date.

“After consultation with businesses in the High Street, where the event will take place, it was clear that the majority of them would like to see the switch-on incorporated with the Spectacular. However, when I contacted Angus Council in regard to this, I was advised to talk to Montrose Community Council. Having spoke with them, I was advised that they had been encouraged to organise the switch-on, because they had been fundraising for Christmas lights.

“Because of the date of our event this year, it was felt it was too far into December to have a full switch-on, so we had planned to have all the lights except the Christmas tree turned on as and when they were installed. The tree lights switch-on would have formed part of the Spectacular.

“The Community Council is currently dissolved for the election to take place, so this may hamper plans for them to organise a switch-on. When I last spoke to Angus Council, I was advised from the lighting department that they had been told, only to speak to the community council, which seems strange given that we were the ones who organised it last year.”

Last year, the event took place the weekend before Christmas and some shop owners in Murray Street raised concerns that with street closure it may have affected business on what they said was the busiest weekend of the year.

This winter the event is taking place on an earlier weekend in December and organisers are adding an ice rink to the attractions. They told us they are happy with the local interest shown in the rink.

Anne Walker said: “We have had a few enquiries from local businesses looking to advertise on the perimeter of the rink, and we are working with a local company to offer vinyl graphics at a reasonable price to businesses looking to promote their company at the event.”