It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hawick

Hawick's Christmas tree in High Street.
Hawick's Christmas tree in High Street.

The organisers of next week’s Christmas celebrations in Hawick town centre are hoping there will be no repeat of the downpour that put a dampener on last year’s event.

Poor weather during last December’s festive parade led to one venue having to be switched and one group choosing not to participate.

That meant last year’s street collection being £250 down on the previous year’s.

Organisers are banking on the weather being a little kinder this time around, with Liz Adams, secretary of Hawick Community Council, saying: “The weather can make or break it.”

An estimated 350 townsfolk in fancy or seasonal dress are expected to take part in the parade from Duke Street to Trinity Gardens and to High Street, starting at 6pm on Thursday, December 1.

That will be slightly fewer than in 2015 because of a decision to move the event, and the switching-on of the town’s Christmas lights, from the usual Saturday.

Liz said: “We consulted with the schools that take part and they said they preferred that it wasn’t on a school night and asked for it not to clash with the St Andrew’s weekend.

“The traders tend to prefer a Saturday, but it’s a suck-it-and-see thing, and we’ll see how it goes for the future.

“It’s difficult on a weekday for some people to get back from work for 6pm, so we may have to revert back again.

“As a result of it being staged on a Thursday, there will not be so many participants, but the primary school pupils do make up the largest number in any case.”

Among the others taking part in the parade this year will be representatives of the fire brigade, Hawick Scout Pipe Band and a sleigh driven by Santa Claus.

Santa will also be given the job of switching on the town’s lights. Last December’s downpour led to singing performances by the Salvation Army and the Humble Scribes being moved from the Elliot bandstand in Wilton Lodge Park to the Heart of Hawick.

Liz said: “It was cold and wet last year, so we’d ask everyone to get well wrapped up when they are considering what costumes to wear.

“We just hope the weather is a little kinder this time.”

In another change to the norm, Hawick’s Christmas lights will not criss-cross roads in the town centre but will be located at Trinity Gardens, in the High Street and at the tower.

Lighting is by far the biggest budgetary consideration for the Christmas celebrations, costing in the region of £1,600, with added LED lights being used this year.

Traders able to afford to chip in are being asked to contribute.

A festive window-dressing competition is being staged again. Pupils from Hawick High School will judge both that contest and the best entries in the parade, with categories including best children’s group and most humorous group.

All the successful groups will be invited to a meeting of the community council on Wednesday, January 11, to be presented with their awards.