Highest honour for Oban Winter Festival organisers

The organisers of the Oban Winter Festival have been honoured with the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Every year in November the festival runs across 10 days providing a major economic boost for the town, and now the committee behind it has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The group works closely with local businesses, charities and schools to put together a programme of events showcasing local crafts and skills to visitors and locals alike.

Included in the attractions is a reindeer parade, fireworks display and haggis making competition.

This gives Oban a busy period at a traditionally quiet time of year.

David Finlayson from Oban Winter Festival committee will attend a garden party at Holyrood on July 5 where he will meet the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, Patrick Stewart, said: “When I saw the nomination I was convinced that the Oban Winter Festival should be nominated for the award. This was reinforced by the assessment prepared for me by Andrew Campbell, a Depute Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute. The award is the equivalent of an MBE awarded to an individual and in this case is richly deserved for its support of the Oban community and businesses at what otherwise would be quite time of year.”

Argyll charity Mary’s Meals has also been honoured with the prestigious award.

Oban Winter Festival Committee will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute later this summer.