Ain’t We Got Fun in Otley this Christmas?
Take dozens of volunteers, 23 ukulele players, eight ballroom dancers, nine pubgoers, eight Morris Men (and Women), two coffee shops and their customers, six Cub Scouts (and two leaders), five walkers, six butchers, one baker, one florist, a garden centre, numerous pies (mince and pork), a bunch of snowmen, loads of sparkly lights, a town crier, two Santas and a cast of amateur extras and you’ll come close to assembling the cast of this year’s Visit Otley Christmas Film: Ain’t We Got Fun in Otley.
Backed by a cover version of the 1921 foxtrot Ain’t We Got Fun performed by the Otley Ukulele Orchestra, the film’s camera takes viewers on a journey through Otley’s fabulous community festive spirt. On the way, visits are paid to community groups with members aged from nine to their nineties in the form of 2nd Otley Cub Scouts and Otley Action for Older People, local independent businesses such as the town’s three award-winning butchers and chocolatier-to-the-stars Patisserie Viennoise, a variety of pubs and cafés, and festive events including the annual Otley Victorian Fayre and Otley Christmas Tree Festival.
Over the years, Ain’t We Got Fun, written by Richard A. Whiting, Raymond B. Egan and Gus Khan has been performed by everyone from Doris Day to Bing Crosby, with the most famous rendition (until now) probably being Peggy Lee’s 1959 big band take on the classic. Visit Otley’s version has been re-worked with amended lyrics by Richard Sabey of Otley-based community arts organisation the Big Hoo-Ha Company, while lead vocals are by multi-instrumentalist and Otley Ukulele Orchestra founder Jennifer Pugh.
The film is the third festive offering from Visit Otley following the viral smashes of 2017’s Oak & The Ash that playfully mimicked the look and feel of large corporate Christmas adverts and 2018’s rousing Twelve Days of Otley Christmas.
Otley Town Council and Otley Bid provided the financial backing for the film, while the concept and execution are by Visit Otley’s PR and marketing agency Endure Communications and filming/editing by Menston’s MCharMedia.
Chair of Otley Town Council’s Trade & Tourism committee Paul Carter said: “For a small market town, Otley’s fun Christmas community spirit is second to none. In an era where the nation has perhaps never been more divided, we wanted to emphasise all the things that unite us at this special time of year. We hope it encourages as many people as possible to come and sample that spirit for themselves, whether at one of our fabulous Christmas events or shopping at our many independent stores.”
Chair of Otley BID Thomas Hatley said: “Community spirit is what unites us, from the town’s many selfless volunteers to our incredible independent businesses – which is why we are proud to have once more contributed to Otley’s festive video. We feel it highlights just how unique a town this is, and we hope to see many more people visiting us to have fun in Otley.”