A popular winter festival is set to be “bigger and better than ever” – according to Aberdeen’s culture chief.
It comes as the Aberdeen Christmas Village is set to open on Friday, taking place at Broad Street for the first time
In its new location, this year’s Christmas Village will feature a range of events and activities organised by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Inspired and Codona’s Amusement Park.
And organisers are calling on those visiting the village to take a look inside Marischal College Quad – an area set to be transformed into a winter wonderland market.
The festive market is to feature vendors from Young Enterprise, The Prince’s Trust and Women in Business, who will be showcasing their creative products.
The following weekend the quad will once again be transformed to become, this time, the FINE Festive Food and Drink Market. And then once again, for HAAN Christmas Design Market, which will run over three weekends during December.
Housed within a marquee – the largest freestanding structure to be built within the historic quad, and curated by SMART Art Agency, FINE and HAAN will celebrate local producers, designers and manufacturers from the North-east, showcasing top quality products,but with the unique element where visitors will not experience the same market twice. Favourites such as the popular open-air ice rink are also set to return, with fairground rides including a traditional carousel, helter-skelter and, once again, The Blizzard.
Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, Marie Boulton, said: “Christmas in Aberdeen is shaping up to be a truly magical time of year, with an outstanding events line-up that is bigger and better than ever.
“Through our City Centre Masterplan Aberdeen City Council is committed to making Aberdeen an even more vibrant place to live, work and visit. And Christmas in Aberdeen creates over a month of activity that has something for everyone but, importantly, encourages people into the city centre, boosting the leisure economy.
“People will see firm favourites such as the Christmas tree switch-on and Christmas lights switch-on, which will have some added sparkle as it will also mark football legend Denis Law’s Freedom of Aberdeen award.
“The addition of FINE and HAAN markets shows a clear change in direction for Christmas, we are excited to be bringing local producers and eclectic and artisan offerings to the unique setting of the Marischal College Quad.
“Our vision for the city is to create a programme that provides an opportunity to promote and enhance the long-term economic prosperity of Aberdeen and the wider region by attracting visitors, both local and from further afield.”
This year’s Christmas lights switch-on takes place on Sunday, November 23 and will be combined with Denis Law’s Freedom of Aberdeen presentation.
The parade from Albyn Place down Union Street to the Castlegate, will be led by Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett.
City-goers can look forward to the popular wooden sculptures making a reappearance around the centre. The 12 Days of Christmas Wooden Sculptures Trail will introduce 12 totem poles from December 1 to December 24.
Created by local chainsaw wood carver Gary Shand, the carvings depict the popular carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas.