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Record crowds as hundreds flock to Banff for reindeer parade

Record crowds lined the streets of Banff at the weekend to see Santa and his reindeer.

The annual reindeer parade began outside the Spotty Bag Shop, with crowds of spectators young and old lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Santa.

The Banff firefighters led the procession in one of their engines, while Oor Wullie got huge waves from the children as he went by.

But it was the reindeer that got the biggest response, with cries of “aw” rippling through the crowd as the six-strong herd pulled Santa’s sleigh along the street.

The parade – which was at threat earlier this year due to crippling business rates – was hailed a success by organisers and spectators alike.

It's the The Spotty Bag Shop Reindeer parade today. We are just next to the car park with the truck and boat, come along and say hello.

Posted by RNLI Macduff on Sunday, 16 December 2018

Mum Cara Ritchie took her two children along, and said: “I thought it was rare to see them – the reindeer are so cute.

“We come along from Fraserburgh each year and every year I think the parade is so good.”

Her son, six-year-old Cayden was delighted to see Santa while five-year-old Samarah was thrilled about the “cute” reindeer.

Local man Kevin Buchan was impressed after seeing the parade for the first time.

“It was really good, and the kids really enjoyed it,” he said.

“This was the first time we’ve come and I think we’ll be coming again next year.

“It’s a great thing to see all of the community come together.”

Earlier this year, organiser Des Cheyne – who owns the Spotty Bag Shop in the town – had warned the parade may have to be axed due to soaring costs of his business rates.

But he decided the £6,000 event should go ahead in recognition of the support it receives from the public.

Mr Cheyne said: “The response this year has been amazing and I am so grateful to the staff, local organisations and emergency services that came along and made it possible.

“There have been a lot of people asking if it will continue.

“I’ll put my neck on the line and say, having seen the reaction and support from people this year that we’ll try to run it again next year.

“The weather was in our favour which helps and the size of the crowds was over-whelming.”

Macduff RNLI, Banff coastguard team and various other organisations accompanied the parade.

The donations collected during the parade will go to the Giving Tree, which brings festive cheer to disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the area by ensuring they receive a gift on Christmas Day.

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