Oban 200 Burgh Festival
The town was officially 200 years old in July 2011 - although evidence of human habitation has been found dating back to mesolythic times. Cliff dwelling hunter gatherers survived on shellfish from the shore, fish from the sea, berries from the land and the odd deer, boar or bird. Today's town folk have rather more sophisticated tastes but in many ways the reliance on fresh local produce has not changed over the millenium.
It's perhaps surprising given Oban's ancient roots, that the town is ONLY 200 years old. There is some debate surrounding the actual date that the town was official granted Royal Burgh status. Oban was raised to a burgh of barony on the 18th July 1811 by a royal charter in favour of the Duke of Argyll, but for a reason that has now been long forgotten (possibly a clerical/legal error with the charter itself) this was set aside by the Court of Session and a new charter was granted in August 1820 in favour jointly of the Duke and Mr Campbell of Combie. (For a potted history of the town visit http://www.scottish-places.info/towns/townhistory552.html it gives a fascinating insight into Old Oban.)
Argyll and Bute council decided to go with the July 1811 date of the first charter which made the town 200 years old in the summer of 2011. The town celebrated its bicentenary in style with HRH Princess Royal attending the rededication ceremony - the highlight of a ten day festival of events. The Big Strip brought over 2000 locals and visitors together for a giant Strip the Willow along George Street - a successful attempt to break the existing world record!