Stonefield Public Park was the setting for Blantyre’s Festive event last Sunday 27th November. Crowds in the thousands once again descended upon the park and the Blantyre Sports Centre, which hosted a large indoor Christmas market.
The successful event, now in its fifth year was hosted again by Blantyre Community Committee, a volunteer led organisation who take great pride to organise events with enthusiasm and effort.
As well as the large market, focus was on making children happy with free events including facepainting, crazy hairstyles, a crafts tent and handing out free glowsticks. A fantastic heated Santa’s Grotto proved popular with the man himself making an appearance. The Hot and food stalls and vendors were busy all day and unlike last year, the weather was crisp and dry. The crowds were thrilled to see a variety of acts on stage including a reggae act, Dance Fierce, Dance Central, St Blane’s Choir as well as other singers and acts.
Following a short service conducted by Rev Sarah Ross, Christmas carols were sung, then local girls Lauren and Rachel McCool switched on the tree and streetlights with the press of a button. Gifts were given to the girls from the Committee and Blantyre Telegraph.
Memorial ribbons were placed on the tree, a popular activity. These can still be purchased in the Royal Bank of Scotland in Clydeview Shopping Centre, if you want to add yours.
Paul Veverka, Chairperson of Blantyre Community Committee added, “We were delighted with the wonderful feedback received this year as we really went ‘all out’ to ensure people enjoyed themselves.
The crowds attending we believe were the largest yet at any of our events and there was an incredible atmosphere of community spirit and friendliness. This was no more apparent than seeing the efforts of volunteers who gave up their time that day to help the committee. A special thanks go to Theresa and James Green, Dawn McCallum, and Aimee and Chloe Glen. We’d also like to say thanks to all the local businesses who sponsored and supported us, including Carrigan’s Blantyre, St Blanes, Gavin Watson Printers, Family Shopper, Bonnie’s Facepainting, Merchant Services Broker, Paula Veverka Photography, Hazels Butterfly Bakery, Dance Central, all our market vendors and of course all the staff at South Lanarkshire Council Lighting Dept and Blantyre Sports Centre, who were very accommodating. It was also good to see attendance and support from our local Councillors, MSP and MP.”
Blantyre Community Committee are now taking a well earned rest for 2 months, before resuming plans for the Summer Gala and “Live at Livvies” Festival which they intend to bring back in Summer 2017.
Paul added, “Finally, I cannot forget my fellow Committee members. It is a little known fact that just 6 people organise this large event, giving up their time during the year to put all the plans into place. These people are Hazel Krawczyk, Caroline and Rose Lee, Stephen McDade and Arlene Green and myself. I suppose we each have our own skills, taking on individual roles when needed which has helped tremendously in the organisation. We have challenges. We overcome them. We’re a strong team, getting better at what we do with forward thinking and vision. We’re incredibly proud to have brought so much positivity and Community Spirit to Blantyre and have some gobsmacking big plans for the summer events, currently pursuing funding to build on our success.”