There was no parade to be rained on as Hawick’s Christmas lights were switched on at the weekend as the festive event’s organisers opted for a change of format this time around.
Lack of interest was blamed for the fancy-dress parade held annually since 1989 being ditched in favour of a more straightforward switch-on.
That change of tack sparked much criticism on social media, but town councillors have rallied to the defence of the replacement event, held at Trinity Gardens on Saturday.
Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull said: “Hawick Community Council do a fantastic job in organising the Christmas lights, and it so frustrating when people on the sidelines are so quick to criticise.
“There have been problems over many years, with the overhead panels being past their sell by date and anchorage problems and the annual testing and the costs involved.
“They have plans to further develop the areas of the town to be decorated.”
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall added: “As a past Christmas lights chairman, I know only too well the amount of work that goes into organising these events and displays, often with a very small budget.
“Those who criticise should take heed that our Christmas lights and parade committee are volunteers who give their time up for nothing, and therefore it would be great if people would just applaud and support what efforts these folk have made on behalf of the town rather than be critical.”