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Christmas event planned for Nairn

By Andrew Dixon

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Euan Gray with Mrs Claus.
Euan Gray with Mrs Claus.

A festive event which will include a street market, craft fayre, street entertainment and horse and carriage rides is planned for Nairn.

Countdown to Christmas will replace Nairn’s usual annual lights switch-on and instead will incorporate a fireworks display to round off the entertainment.

The event is being organised for the second year by Nairn BID, part funded by the Scottish Government in partnership with EventScotland, and businesses and community groups are being encouraged to get involved.

Countdown to Christmas will take place in the town centre and at the Links.

Nairn BID manager Lucy Harding said: “This is the first event of its kind since 2019 and we have worked very closely with Highland Council to make sure that everything we do will be done safely and in a Covid-compliant way.

"We are excited to be bringing back a Christmas event for Nairn. We have opted not to do a Christmas lights switch-on, partly due to the fact that it encourages a large crowd in a small space which is not appropriate, but also, following feedback from the 2019 event where people felt the High Street was a bit dark.

"The lights will already be switched on which will make the event feel very festive from the beginning and instead we will round off the event with fireworks at the Links. The area is really big and gives people the option to watch from different locations too.”

The fireworks display is being funded by the Nairn West and Suburban Community Council, as the money was originally raised from the community of Nairn specifically for a fireworks display.

Ms Harding added: “We are grateful for this local collaboration. Nairn has not had a fireworks display for many years so we are delighted to be adding it as the finale of our Christmas event. Lorraine Mallinson and Andy Randerson were very involved in the fundraising effort and Lorraine remains involved in the delivery process.”

The whole event will provide an opportunity for the community to come together and, as Ms Harding explained, it is important that people get involved.

“In 2019, the event was a huge success with a great turnout and many businesses benefitting," she said. "We really hope that we will achieve this again and already, we have had many businesses coming forward. Some have taken stalls at the Farmers' Market and others are spilling out on to the street.”

She added: “The event will kick off at 10am. The Links part is a new addition to what we have done before, and it will be where our horse and carriage rides are based. The horse and carriage will ferry people between the two locations.”

The Links will also feature food traders, a circus skills workshop including a fire breather, a clown, huskies, a marshmallow stall and the fireworks.

The High Street part of the event will follow the more traditional aspect of what is normally expected at a Christmas event but with a few added extras, including a stage showcasing local acts.

“We have tried to strike a balance," Ms Harding said. "Last year, clearly we were unable to put on any type of event. This year, we have made tweaks such as not having a light switch on, but we have supplemented this with other activities and there will be entertainment, street performers and more.

“This really is the beginning of the countdown to Christmas and we hope that there is a great turnout from the community to support the local businesses by shopping local and enjoying everything that the Nairn BID team and its many volunteers are putting in place.”

The event will take place on November 27 and full details and timings will be available of the Nairn BID website www.nairnconnects.com. Volunteer stewards are needed on the day.

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