this year’s Christmas Extravaganza has been hailed as “the best ever” by organisers who estimate the day-long event attracted a crowd of thousands.
Entertainments in the High Street on Sunday included a funfair, wide variety of stalls manned by local organisation, displays by the Gordon School of Dancing and a traditional musical accompaniment to the day by Montrose Town Band. Santa also made a surprise arrival on a three-wheeled motor cycle and made a grand tour of the High Street and Murray Street to raise funds for the DebRA charity shop.
A new feature for this year, “The eXtravaganza Factor”, also attracted a healthy entry and the karaoke competition carried cash prizes of £100 for the winners of the children and adult age groups.
Councillor Mark Salmond, chairman of Montrose Events which organised the event, said the public’s support had been “fantastic”.
He said: “A lot of hard work is put into organising this event by a small committee of five people and this point should not be forgotten. Events on this scale don’t just happen.
“Crowd numbers were overwhelming with estimates of over 8,000 people passing through Montrose town centre over the day. I was delighted that the police confirmed there were no incidents with a family-friendly atmosphere throughout the day.”
Committee secretary Tommy Stewart also hailed the public’s support of the eXtravaganza Factor which, he said, added to the day’s fun atmosphere.
He said: “I would like to thank Bill McDonald of Monarch of the Glen Retirement Homes for agreeing to sponsor this new event, which exceeded all expectations and created a fantastic festive feeling in the High Street.
“Santa was raising money for Debra and the committee was overwhelmed that the Debra shop insisted in giving them a cash donation towards the running costs of the extravaganza event. This was much appreciated as its costs around £2,000 to put on the event.”
Mr Salmond added that the annual extravaganza is unique in the county and is aimed at supporting local retailers.
He said: “The current economic climate is making things difficult for all businesses and anything that can be done to attract shoppers to Montrose should be welcomed and supported. I know from speaking to my fellow councillors from other Angus towns they are desperate to replicate this successful event.”