Aberdeen’s popular winter festival was launched yesterday, with organisers pledging it will be even bigger and better than last year.
The heart of the city will once again be transformed into a winter wonderland, with a German-style Christmas market, ice rink and funfair on Union Terrace.
There will also be a Christmas tree maze and a Twelve Days of Christmas-themed wooden sculpture trail in Union Terrace Gardens.
The ice rink – which will be twice the size it was last year – will again be based at the grassed area in front of His Majesty’s Theatre.
Council leader Jenny Laing said the aim was to make the festival bigger and better than last year’s event which drew more than 500,000 visitors over the festive period.
She said: “The Christmas village was a wonderful success but we want to build on that so this year there will be nearly double the number of stalls.
“People also enjoyed the location of the ice rink last year, which looked spectacular across from the theatre, but we have the scope this year to make it even bigger.
“Aberdeen continues to go through a challenging period and we want to attract people, not just from the city, but from all over the north-east, to join in the festival.”
The celebrations will get underway with a fireworks display on Bonfire Night.
The maze and sculpture trail will be revealed on Thursday November 24 and the Christmas village will be open from November 25-January 8.
The council has invested more than £400,000 in the celebrations, which will be run in partnership with Aberdeen Inspired.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of the organisation tasked with improving the city centre, said: “I am very excited about this year’s festival because we are constantly bringing in bigger and better events.
“We want people to look forward to coming into the city centre and enjoy all the attractions that will be on offer as well as building on the fantastic success of last year.”
The Winter Festival will also include family favourites like the Christmas tree switch on, the Trinity Centre reindeer parade, the Christmas lights switch on, the nativity scene, carol concerts and Hogmanay celebrations.