Festive Taste overcomes false storm warning

Lanark Festive Taste Parade 2018
Lanark Festive Taste Parade 2018

Lanark’s Festive Taste event took place on Saturday, December 15, despite the doom and gloom forecast that Storm Deirdre was about to arrive.

As it turned out, it was a ‘storm in a teacup’ and the whole community was able to take to the streets to take part in the day’s events - with something for all ages to enjoy.

The Festive Taste of Lanark event is all about encouraging the community to shop locally and discovering the wide range of businesses on Lanarkians’ doorstep. 

The Tolbooth acted as the Festive Taste hub for the day with a range of activities inside including fundraising fun; games; mince pies; mulled wine; a craft fair upstairs with local crafters also displaying the current exhibition Crackers for Art. 

In the evening, the Tolbooth played host to a special Whisky tasting event with Robin Laing the Whisky Bard - a true cultural ambassador for Scotch whisky. 

From the Tolbooth, participants could pick up their copy of the Festive Taste Trail. A bit like a treasure trail for adults, this led them on a trail around the town centre enjoying samples and tasty bites along the way! Ten local eateries and shops took part offering delicious samples such as homemade cakes, pies, pigs in blankets, gin and hot food.

Entertainment was provided throughout the day by Lanark Amateur Musical Society Carol Singers, and the Leadhills Silver Band who both provided an extra-special festive cheer to the day’s atmosphere. Frozen characters Anna, Elsa and Olaf also visited to say hello to lots of young families. 

The highlight of the day’s festivities was the annual Santa Dash Horse Parade by Scottish Equi Centre. Santas young and old took part in the parade on horseback, accompanied by their elf helpers.

The Festive Taste event has been running since 2012, after being started by the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council, as a way of encouraging locals and visitors to shop in the town centre.

The event is now part of Lanark’s Winterfest Programme, coordinated by Lanark Community Development Trust, which includes over 40 festive events taking place in the town in November and December. 

At Lanark Community Council’s latest meeting, Festive Taste founder Eleanor McLean reported that attendance figures had been hit by the unduly pessimistic weather forecast but, despite this, the event was still a success with the Tolbooth “going like a fair” all day.