Once again members of Oban Rotary participated in the management of "The Reindeer Parade and "The Hats Parade" which form part of Oban's Winter Festival, the former takes place at the beginning of the festival and the latter towards the end.
Rotarians L to R - David Finlayson, Peter Tosh, Ken Oxland, Ken Moncrieff, Iain Mac Intyre, David Mudie
The winter festival, sponsored by Bids4Oban, is now a established event in the town and takes place annually in November. The support of Rotary is integral to the success of the two parades because large crowds witness the events - many of whom are children - and adequate supervision is vital. This is provided by club members who turn up in their numbers. This year's parades enjoyed fairly good weather which contributed to another large turnout of spectators and it was generally agreed that both events were enjoyed by all concerned.
Now in it's 6th year, Oban's Winter Festival runs from Friday, 18th November until Sunday, 27th November and an integral part is "The Reindeer Parade", which is sponsored by Bid4Oban. Since inception, Oban Rotary has played a major part in the management of " The Reindeer Parade" and the 2016 event was no exception with up to 20 Rotarians in attendance.
Rotarians: Iain MacIntyre, Jack Tollan, John Hyde, Douglas Small and Ken Oxland
"The Reindeer Parade" , which starts at 5pm involves live reindeer pulling "Santa" in a sleigh from the Corran Halls through to Station Square, led by the Oban Pipe Band, followed by youngsters from the local schools and other interested groups. Santa was joined in the sleigh by primary school children who were winners of youth projects promoted by Oban Rotary. The streets from the Corran Halls to Station Square were lined by the local community and all were agreed that this was the best turn out ever. The procession was favoured by a lull in the weather which remained benign between 5pm and 6.30pm, when the parade finished.
The arrival at Station Square gives the public, and especially the children, access to Santa and indeed the reindeer, the latter being extremely child friendly and all concerned awaited the switching on of the Christmas lights which took place at 6pm. In line with all events in which Rotary is involved, the " Reindeer Parade " went to plan and all concerned can be assured that this particular part of the Winter Festival lived up to expectations. Another feature of the parade was the distribution of glow lamps, in different colours, to all the children present although a number of adults also felt that they should be included (!) and this added to the spectacle.