On Friday 3rd December, we had the opportunity to host the Winter Gaitherin – our festive celebration in Fountain Square! Dumfries town centre became a warming, magical place to be with lots of twinkling lights, fun workshops and wonderful live performances all taking place outside The Stove and in lots of other venues around the town!
If you couldn’t join us on Friday, here’s a little recap of what went on.
Preparations started early on Friday morning, as we set up the picnic tables and dressed them up with some Christmas decorations to get everyone in the spirit!
There was lots to do and see, with hours of festive fun about to unfold in the town.
Kicking off our celebration, Susi Briggs and Alan McClure of Oor Wee Podcast joined us on the Winter Gaitherin stage with a lovely live storytelling performance from their family-friendly podcast.
We then had a very special visit from the Pirate and the Pixie from Moat Brae! Telling their own special story and keeping lots of families entertained with their tales of adventure.
Over at The Smithy, Big Burns Supper had a brilliant lantern-making workshop for all the family to enjoy, as well as artist Andy Brooke on hand to show us how to make your own window decorations. They were also joined by Arts End of Somewhere, who were taking part in discussions around their award-winning storytelling and performances!
(Stay tuned for Big Burns Supper’s carnival in January, when they will have a lantern procession that you can take your lanterns from the workshop along to – find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.)
Just outside at the Plainstanes, we had D-Lux holding a pop-up video making workshop. Their tent was equipped with colourful lights for people to make their own light videos – D-Lux will be gathering all of these short video clips to project them all onto a Dumfries town centre building very soon! Stay tuned on this by following D-Lux on Facebook or Instagram.
Round at The Wobbly Shelf bookshop, they held a letter-writing workshop for people to write their own creative letters, or to send warm wishes of hope to refugees – kindly taken in and sent on by the Dumfries charity, Massive Outpouring of Love.
Flourish also hosted their own crafty workshop for kids with Mr P’s Festive Craft Club! And Kings coffee shop even had their house jazz band, ‘Kings Own Blend’ for their customers to enjoy while they enjoyed a warm festive treat in the cafe.
Summerhill Community Centre joined us with some fun Christmas games to enjoy at their Christmas party!
There were also some familiar characters who arrived to say hello…
Later, Bogle Mufty took to the Winter Gaitherin stage with their lively folk music!
And Michael Grant, too!
Chris Gray then took to the stage with a special piece composed especially for Dumfries to welcome winter to the town, before Dumfries Community Choir gathered round for some Christmas chorals!
After all, what’s a Christmas celebration without a choir?
Firstly, we’d like to say thank you to Dumfries and Galloway Council for approaching us to host a Christmas celebration in the town this year.
We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all that took part in our Winter Gaitherin, from the hard workers at The Stove to every single participant in our events programme – without you the Gaitherin wouldn’t have been possible!
And of course, an even bigger thank you to all those who joined us as they were passing by, or marked the date in their calendar to celebrate Christmas with us at the Winter Gaitherin.
It was about time we had something to celebrate again – and we all earned it.
You can watch a short film covering the event created by photographer and filmmaker Ruari Barber Fleming on our youtube channel here:
– From all at The Stove, have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year when it comes.