Lighting up Linlithgow
A much loved fixture in the Linlithgow calendar will make a welcome return next Saturday after it was "snuffed out" last year because of lockdown restrictions.
The torchlight procession will see hundreds of townsfolk of all ages walk the length of the High Street, led by Linlithgow Reed Band, in the highlight of an ambitious programme for the traditional Advent Fayre, which was effectively wiped out last Christmas by the pandemic.
A host of organisations, businesses and volunteers have banded together to bring back the Christmas sparkle to the town after all the disappointment of last year.
Evelyn Noble, chair of One Linlithgow, which represents all local businesses and has been heavily involved in the programme, said that she was detecting a really buoyant and optimistic mood among local people and businesses alike.
"So many people, including volunteers, have been, and will be, putting in a lot of effort to ensure that Christmas 2021 will be like night and day compared with what was sadly the case last year."
Among a host of events next Saturday, there will be an outdoor market at The Cross and stalls in the adjacent Burgh Halls till 3pm. At the nearby Vennel there will be more outdoor stalls and a funfair. In addition, in the former library at the Vennel, Linlithgow Community Development Trust will have storytelling by Far From the Madding Crowd, a North Pole Post Office, and Linlithgow Academy will have their famous mini F1 racetrack for budding racing drivers of all ages to have a go at.
The procession will leave Low Port at 5pm, and torch tickets (£5) have to be obtained in advance from Far From the Madding Crowd, Taste Deli Cafe, Mac's Sweets, and Playbugs. After it arrives at The Cross, which will have carol singing and other entertainment, the Christmas tree lights will be switched on by Linlithgow Provost Liz Park and Chief Lady Maisie Flint.
The popular Christmas Shopping Day, which was cancelled last year because of restrictions, will also return. Eddie Linton Smith, One Linlithgow manager, said a range of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars would open next Thursday (25th) till 8pm, with special deals and treats for customers.