It’s hard to believe we’re nearly through November, but Christmas preparation is well underway and Grantown is getting ready for its celebrations.
Businesses are getting into the festive spirit with decorations appearing in windows up and down the High Street. And the sight of the big Christmas lights going up is always a sign that the big day is not far off.
And we have a great programme of events and activities to tempt you on your festive adventure in Grantown this year.
Grantown Does Christmas is back after its amazing success last year. The two-day local shopping extravaganza takes place on Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5 and will showcase the High Street and Square. Businesses will be open all weekend with special offers and The Square will host a special outdoor market with trade stands and community stalls.
The event is sponsored by Gordon & MacPhail, whose distillery, The Cairn, is under construction at Craggan. With doors due to open in the middle of next year, some of the new team will be at The Square to chat about the new building and visitor centre. And they’ll be offering exclusive tastings of the company’s Benromach whisky and Red Door Gin.
Santa will be making an appearance, of course. He’s due to arrive on one of the town’s fire trucks before taking up his seat in a special grotto in the Square.
Local radio station, Speysound, will broadcast from The Square on Sunday, marking the end of a marathon broadcast by its presenter Cath Wright. She aims to complete 35 hours non-stop on the radio – breaking last year’s ‘mouthathon’ achievement of 30 hours and ending as the Grantown Does Christmas event finishes. At the same time, Pete Wright will be running a mile every hour from their stand to support her and you’re welcome to join him.
Elsewhere, the Dulaig Park Renovation Project will host a special Beat the Goalie challenge, while Grantown Museum’s Art and Craft Fair will offer beautiful gifts by Highland creatives. The fair starts on November 27 and runs until December 5.
Another highlight is the annual Christmas tree festival. Now in its fourth year, organisers at St Columba’s Episcopal Church will stage the show at the local YM Community Centre in the High Street. Community groups, schools and businesses are challenged to decorate a tree, with a public vote to decide the town’s favourite.
This year, more than 30 trees are expected to go on display, including contributions by local groups including Grantown Remakery, The Garth Hotel, the Spey Art Group and Sustainable Strathspey. We’re looking forward to seeing the imaginative designs they come up with!
Throughout December local businesses are offering afternoon teas, Santa’s grottos and festive rides on the miniature railway at Grantown East. Take advantage of special offers and try something new like the Escape Cairngorms escape room and lunch festive package.
Later in the month, the town’s traditional Torchlight Procession returns on December 23. Residents and visitors will create a glorious spectacle as they march down the High Street led by a local pipe band. The parade ends at the Christmas tree in The Square, where the crowd will sing carols.
The fun continues after Christmas Day with a fundraising concert on December 30 at the Royal British Legion, with favourites Maggie Adamson and Friends entertaining everyone from 8pm.
Tickets cost £12 and are available from the Royal British Legion and The Bookmark. All proceeds raised will go towards the Hogmanay party.
Speaking of which…
The climax to the season – Hogmanay in the Square makes a return after a Covid-enforced cancellation last year with hundreds of residents and visitors expected to attend. The traditional party will take place in the Square and a spectacular fireworks display will mark the start of 2022 at midnight.