A much-loved winter festival has finally returned to Moray after cold weather delayed the opening.
Elgin’s Ice Festival, due to launch last Saturday, was halted after Storm Caroline hit the Moray area.
The freezing conditions meant that water in the rink froze too quickly, with the top later of water freezing before the bottom layer, creating an air pocket which needed to be removed.
Thankfully, after working through the night and into the morning, the fire service fixed the problem and the Ice Festival opened yesterday after an honourary private hire on Monday night.
Ice Festival director Jon Behari said: “Last year we created the festival in just 10 weeks and everyone had a fantastic time. Because of that success, we wanted to come on site earlier this year so the festival could be open for even longer.
“We’ve always said we wanted the festival to be a yearly thing, so with that in mind we put in for planning permission to make sure people could experience the fun of being on the rink every year. Basically, our aim is to make the festival bigger and better each year.”
More than 5,000 people visited the inaugural Ice Festival last year, with 35 private hire sessions booked for parties as well as trips for local cub and scouts organisations as well as schools.
The festival was set up by Caledonia Ice Skating Club as a way of encouraging the Elgin and Moray communities to come together for some wintry fun, with its official launch being on December 17 last year.
This year the festival has been moved closer to Elgin’s war memorial, with the sculpture lit up as a feature against the backdrop of St Giles Church and a viewing area set up around the memorial for better access.