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10 reasons why you need to go to Oban Winter Festival

10 reasons why you need to go to Oban Winter Festival
Winter is no time of the year to stay indoors and hibernate. It’s much more fun to wrap up warm and enjoy everything that the colder months have to offer. Oban Winter Festival is jam-packed with seasonal fun. From whisky tasting to festive markets, ceilidhs to ice skating, the ten-day programme of events is sure to leave you with a warm glow. So grab your hat and gloves and make a date with the Oban Winter Festival. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Beautiful Ballet
Ballet West will open the festival on Friday 17th November with a fabulously festive ‘Winter Wonderland’ performance at the Corran Halls.

2. Gintastic! Get in the seasonal spirit with a gin tasting night at Oban Whisky & Fine Wines Shop on Friday 17th November. Tickets are available from the shop on Stafford street.

3. Get switched on
On Saturday 18th November Oban town centre will be buzzing with the build up to the big Oban Christmas Lights Switch On. Join Santa and his reindeers on a parade to station square, where there will be a festive atmosphere with hot food, stalls and entertainment. You’ll also get the chance to meet the reindeer in their pen and children can chat to Santa. Join in the countdown and watch as Oban lights up for Christmas.

4. Marvelous markets
Shop local and pick up some festive gifts and treats at a number of markets taking place throughout the Winter Festival. Check out the Distillery Markets on 18th and 25th November at Oban Distillery. There will be food and craft stalls, as well as live music, face painting and hot soup. The Corran Halls Market on Sunday 19th will have a huge selection of local food and craft stalls, as well as entertainment from the Mackairn Bellringers. And finally don’t miss the Winter Festival Victorian Market in Perle Hotel where you’ll find a unique array of handmade goods and gifts.

5. Delicious dumplings
Do you think you can make a prize-winning clootie dumpling? Then here’s your chance to find out. The Oban Winter Festival competition to find ‘Clootie Dumplings of Distinction’ takes place on Sunday 19th November at the Corran Halls. There are three prizes up for grabs – gold, silver and bronze. If you’d like to take part, you’ll need to download an entry form and return it by 10th November. Your dumpling will need to be submitted by 10.30am on the day of the competition. You can go for a traditional clootie dumpling or try a modern twist.

6. Choirs and candles
On Friday 24th November join Oban Gaelic Choir, Bach Choir, Taynuilt Choir, Lorn Singers and Sequence Community Choir for a night of candles and choirs in St John’s Cathedral in Oban. Everyone is welcome and entry is by donation. You can also catch the Oban Gaelic Choir in concert at the Skippinish Ceilidh House in Oban on 20th November.

7. Hurray for haggis
Watch as Argyll butchers and haggis makers go head to head in Oban distillery on 26th November to compete for the coveted golden haggis award at Haggisfest. You’ll be welcomed with a nip of Oban whisky and will have the chance to taste the haggis and vote for the ‘people’s choice.’

8. Time for tartan
The Oban Winter Festival celebrates St Andrew’s Day with a host of activities. Take part in the Tartan Dash, have a go at haggis hurling and taste some whisky. And to finish off the day in style, dance the night away at the Grand Ceilidh at Argyllshire Gathering Halls where the Oban Pipe Band will be making an appearance.

9. Heavenly hats
The theme for this year’s final festival parade is hats. So grab your best beret or bunnet and join the parade though town. Need some inspiration? Then sign up for the Hat Workshop on 22nd November with Liz from Heartfelt and the ladies from Mary’s Meals.

10 Dunollie Makes Christmas
The Dunollie Makes Christmas event takes place every November as part of the Oban Winter Festival. The beautiful woodlands at Dunollie are transformed into a winter wonderland, with ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ family fun trail, traditional crafts, handmade gifts, carol-singing and festive food and drink.

Festival action takes place mainly in the centre of town and getting from place to place is very easy. Discover the great shopping, bars and restaurants that make this town tick, take a tour of the local distillery and sample local malts, or enjoy a coffee and cake in one of Oban’s cafés.

These are just some of the great events that make up Oban Winter Festival. There are loads of other things going on from dance shows to piano recitals. You’ll find the latest information, as well as timings and how to book, on the Oban Winter Festival website.

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