An olympic Christmas for Dunblane

Olympian Andrew Butchart is headlining this year’s Christmas Extravaganza in Dunblanedunblane-christmas

The annual event, which takes place mainly along Dunblane High Street, will also feature tumbling elves, a stilt-walking ice queen and a fire performer.

Santa and his reindeer are regular features on the night but this is the first time Dunblane’s ‘other’ olympian has made an appearance.

Andrew’s involvement has generated a great deal of excitement in the community, especially amongst local teenagers.

Long-term local resident, Sandy Fleming, whose twins go to school in Dunblane said: “My two children go to the Extravaganza every year and they’re even more excited to see Andrew Butchart this year.

“My daughter and son are both keen athletes and they’ve been inspired by Andrew competing in the olympics, especially knowing that he, like them, went to Dunblane High School and trains locally.”

It’s been a busy year for Andrew – as well as recording a personal best in the 5000 metres in the Rio olympics, he also won the men’s London 10,000 metre race.

And when he is not busy running races, the olympian is out and about in the local community.

Ellie Petrie has lived in Dunblane all her life and her two teenagers attend Dunblane High School. She shared her thoughts on Andrew’s involvement in the town’s Christmas celebrations: “My initial thought was that it’ll make a nice change from Judy Murray!

“It’s great that he’s supportive of his local community. He’s visited all the Dunblane schools since the Olympic Games and the kids will all be very excited to see him.”

Residents and visitors to the Extravaganza will be hoping for better weather than last year, when a deluge of rain somewhat dampened the festivities.

The free event will take place on 24 November between 5pm and 9pm, concluding with a fireworks display.

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