In 2011 a small group of people got together and decided it would be a good idea to have a Christmas tree in the centre of Auchterarder. They decided it would be a good idea to have a Christmas event to bring the people of the community together. A craft fair in the Aytoun Hall, shops open on a Sunday, carol singers etc. An old-fashioned community Christmas.
That first year we had St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright switching on the tree lights in one of his first public appearances since taking the post. Santa got a helping hand from Windy Wilson and it snowed overnight giving us a perfect start to the day.
Stewart’s Building Services provided the tree to help start off this first event and they have been providing the tree and setting it up every year since. They also supply transport and muscle to the organisers for setting up the event on Sunday mornings.
This year thanks to continuing sponsorship from Stewart Milne Homes the event continues to grow and thrive. This year the Institute will be available with activities for children and there will be a supervised parking area for prams and buggies. John Horne is again bringing fairground rides and Santa has said he will take time from his busy schedule to make a visit.
In that first year, Coventry for Fencing kindly provided a seat for santa, large enough that children could sit beside him. They continue to provide this every year and now help transport Santa and his elves in a parade down the High Street with local children.
What started as an idea to have a Christmas tree has now, thanks to the dedication of 8 people, become the main community event in Auchterarder. The only cost to the community is that a donation is asked for the gifts Santa provides and for participating in the children’s area. Of course if you wanted to make a donation of a tombola or raffle prize you can drop them off at D R Johnston Shoes and Louisa Clements Professional Haircare.
With local shops opening especially for the event with many having special offers and some festive refreshments this is a great day to come to Auchterarder. The Masonic Lodge members are opening for tea and coffee and the use of their facilities if required by wee ones on the rides. Don’t forget when it’s all over the fantastic Fish and Chip Company will be open for business and save you from cooking.
Spread the word and put the date in your diary, come and join the Auchterarder Christmas In the Community event.