Cupar’s Christmas countdown

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The countdown to Christmas in Cupar has officially begun with the launch of the town’s festival programme.

Seasonal celebrations begin tomorrow (Saturday) when Santa makes the first of several visits to Cupar Garden Centre, courtesy of Cupar Round Table.

He’ll be at the centre every Saturday and Sunday between noon and 4pm until December 16.

Then on December 7 comes what promises to be the highlight of the festival - the official lights switch-on and festive market.

The event is being held a week later than usual this year so it doesn’t clash with festivities in St Andrews , and the honour of switching on the lights will go once more to Cupar’s Citizen of the Year, whose name will be revealed at the end of this month.

The switch-on ceremony takes place at 4.30pm, and the Citizen of the Year will beaccompanied by the Cupar Children’s Gala royal party as well as Santa.

The festive fun begins at 1pm, with a food market and entertainment in Cupar’s Crossgate, by which time the Mercat Cross will be resplendent in its new position.

Among those taking part are Cupar Pipe Band, the Djembe Drummers and street performers from Urban Circus.

A festive craft market will be held in the County Buildings from 11am, while animals from Fife Animal Park will be visiting St John’s Church from 1pm to 3pm and there’ll be procession along Crossgate at 3pm by a group from Fife Nativity.

To complete the festive atmosphere, a fun fair will be situated in Bonnygate car park from 1pm until 9pm.

The day before the big switch-on, Cupar Old Parish Church is to host a family gift-making session, and the day after there’ll be a lantern march in Haugh Park.

Later in the month, on December 21 and 22, the local charity Caring for Cupar is to hold a Christmas market and ice rink in the Corn Exchange.

Responsibility for the town’s Christmas lights now falls to the Cupar Christmas Lights Committee after a Kingdom-wide contract through Fife Council came to an end.

Earlier this year the committee was awarded a £6000 grant from the local authority’s area budget and they have received £10,000 from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme to help pay for the illuminations.

“The money allows us to invest in our own lights rather than leasing them, which is a big advantage,” said Councillor Margaret Kennedy.

“We plan to put on a display that people can be proud of, but we’re always open to ideas and would be very pleased to hear from anyone who would like to get actively involved in the festival.”

For more information about all the events and to find out how you can become involved, visit www.cuparchristmasfestival.com or the Cupar Christmas Festival Facebook page.

In the meantime, members of the committee will have a stall at the farmers’ market in Cupar tomorrow (Saturday).