LESS than a month after it seemed that there would be no public events in Montrose to welcome Christmas, two, which had previously been written off, were miraculously revitalised.
On Thursday, the town’s Christmas tree and lights were formally switched on by The Rose Queen Erin McGlynn and Rose Maids Megan Merino-Beattie and Katie Waghorn, with Rose Buds Sunny Bruce, Robyn Freeman, Ruby Hall and Kayla McDonald. Also taking part were the principals of this year’s Song Shop Christmas pantomime, ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
There was a splendid attendance from the town and further afield.
The event was organised at the eleventh hour by Montrose Business Association and Montrose Area Partnership, with enthusiastic help from Police and Montrose Rotary Club.
Organisers were delighted by the turn-out of families on a cold but calm night - unlike last year when the event would have taken place in a gale that literally blew slates off nearby roofs.
Councillor David May, who was also involved in organising the event, said: “We were delighted that Maddisons were open and supplied very good hot food for what was a cold winter’s evening.
“The superb entertainers were introduced by our own MC, Tom Murray, and included the wonderful Town Band and amazing dancers from Showcase the Street.
“We were also entertained by lovely carols from the singers of St Mary’s and St Peters.”
Councillor May summed up: “We were delighted with the event and the crowd attendance, and with their reaction, especially the young children with Santa.”
Santa, incidentally, was delivered to his grotto by the RNLI’s inshore boat, which was pulled by a local Coastguard Land Rover.
And on Sunday it was the turn of the annual Christmas Extravaganza, rescued through a late intervention by local businessman James Wilson.
There was all the fun of the fair, with a great turn-out of enthusiastic folk of all ages.
Although the number of stalls taking part was considerably down on previous years, this was in part due to the very strong wind which persuaded some gazebo owners to take no part.
Among those taking part and providing entertainment was the charity DebRA, 1-3 High Street.
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The charity’s Claire Jaycock told the Review: “I would like to praise the efforts of Mr James Wilson for standing in at the last minute to save the Christmas Extravaganza. Whilst the size had been scaled back it still invoked the Christmas spirit of the town. All who came appeared to be enjoying the day.
“Our Charity DebRA was given the opportunity to host the Santa’s Grotto for the second year running and we enjoyed a healthy turnout.
“We hope the tradition of the Christmas Extravaganza will return in 2013, with more local businesses and charities getting involved, returning it to its former glory.”
Claire added that at some points the place was packed, and that despite the event being concentrated at the Ball House end of the High Street, the DebRA shop at the Murray Street end had also had a good day.
She extended thanks to Santa’s principal helpers in their grotto, David Mitchell and Grant Davidson.
These was a general feeling among those the Review spoke to that Mr Wilson deserves the greatest praise for saving the Extravaganza, and that a local committee to run the event next year should be set up sooner rather than later, with the no doubt willing guidance of anyone who has been involved in previous years.