RECENTLY I was asked the question why had I not written about Edinburgh’s Christmas. I have deliberately not been commenting on the city centre’s new-look Christmas because I have moved on and am not involved anymore.
I was very involved for 13 years in Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland, which was the ice rink, Christmas market and all the festive events in East Princes Street Gardens.
The ice rink was the largest open-air rink in Britain and could accommodate more than 300 skaters at a time. It was always fun to watch children with their parents or grandparents having a great time skating.
Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere with lovely Christmas music playing, lots of laughter and kids quealing with delight. Of course, there were accidents and there were sometimes complaints, but never about the cost.
Ever since we started the first open-air rink in the UK, ice rinks have become the norm in cities across the UK. We are proud that we were the first and it was great fun while it lasted.
Still, change is inevitable and it is right that Edinburgh’s city centre entertainment should move on, this I completely accept. However, it must change for the better.
The Spiegeltent in St Andrew Square with good shows in it is wonderful. The staging of this should not be at the expense of the other facilities in and around the city centre. Christmas is all inclusive and is about giving and receiving - maybe not so much at the moment.
I am sad that the Christmas facilities are geared towards making money as opposed to enjoyment. I also understand that I could not afford to continue as things were, so a more commercial operator has come in.
I am sure they will listen to the criticisms and act accordingly. It can’t all be perfect from the first year, they have three to make it right
Let’s hope they take heed and make things enjoyable for all in Edinburgh not just the ones that can afford it!