Brechin to switch on for Christmas

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LOCALS are looking forward to a weekend of festive fun as the city gears up to “Switch on Brechin”, writes Shona Beaton.

This unique event will see Christmas arrive in Brechin with the switching on of the Christmas lights.

Joining together for this community venture, making up the Christmas Lights Committee, are Brechin’s retailers, the Caledonain Railway, the Mechanics Institute with Joie de Vivre, Gardner Memorial Church, Brechin Round Table, Brechin High School, Angus Council and a number of volunteers.

Kicking off the weekend is a Christmas Market being held at the Mechanics’ Institute from Friday, December 9 to Sunday, December 11, organised by Joie de Vivre Events. Friday is preview evening, with a welcome glass of wine and mince pies with a walk-through fashion show exhibiting fashion items to be on sale. Doors open 4 pm and the event runs until 9 pm. On Saturday the doors are open from 10 am to 4.30 pm and on Sunday from 12 noon to 4.30 pm. A range of the finest wares and hand-crafted goods from the surrounding area will be on sale all day, some exclusive to this event.

You will receive a warm welcome at the Mechanics’ Institute and an opportunity to shop in the comfort and warmth of the festive spirit.

An ideal opportunity to find that sought after and unique gift for that ‘someone special’.

And, you might just strike a bargain!

If you fancy something tasty to eat then go no further than the Gardner Memorial Church, which will be holding its annual Christmas bake sale on Saturday from 10 am, followed by a soup lunch served at 12 noon.

Santa will be visiting the Caledonain Railway throughout Saturday and Sunday when the hugely successful Santa Special trains will, once again, be running. Trains depart at 11 am, 12.15 pm, 1.30 pm and 2.45 pm.

There will be city-centre entertainment from 10 am to 4.30 pm, including the closure of the High Street from 2 pm onwards.

Brechin Town House Museum will be serving mulled wine and old photographs between 2 pm and 4 pm, with the opportunity to visit the “Old Skool” exhibition being held at the museum.

Marquee stalls will be set out in St Ninian’s Square, organised by the Round Table, starting at 2 pm.

From 5 pm onwards Radio North Angus will provide the entertainment.

At 5.30 pm music will be provided by Brechin High School’s Toe Tappers, who will lead up to switch-on Brechin at 6 pm.

Santa will take some time out from making toys to make a special visit to see all the children after the lights have been switched on.

To maintain the present Christmas features in the city the committee has to raise £5000.

This year “Switch on Brechin” received a welcome boost, thanks to communications company TalkTalk, who kindly offered to sponsor £1300 towards the lights.

In addition to helping light up Brechin for Christmas they are also donating two tickets for next year’s X Factor tour to be raffled by the committee.

A spokesperson for the Christmas lights committee said: “With the financial support of Talk Talk we can enhance the fantastic display of lights and decorations in Brechin.

“To be able to make the town look so wonderful again this year for the people of Brechin and visitors to the town is brilliant.”

Tickets will be available on the day of Switch on Brechin as well as being available prior to the day, from retailers involved in this event as well as from the Brechin Advertiser office.

The draw for the X Factor tickets will take place on December 22.

This year, and from now on, Brechin will only be provided with one tree from Angus Council so this year Bob Myles will be donating a Christmas tree to for St Ninian’s Square.