City’s Christ­mas vil­lage set to be ‘big­gest yet’

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - By Ana Da Silva

A POP­U­LAR win­ter fes­ti­val is set to be “big­ger and bet­ter than ever”, ac­cord­ing to Aberdeen’s cul­ture chief.

Coun­cil­lor Marie Boul­ton’s com­ments came ahead of the Aberdeen Christ­mas Vil­lage open­ing on Fri­day at its new Broad Street home.

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 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 again be trans­formed to be­come, this time, the FINE Festive Food and Drink Mar­ket. And there will be a fur­ther change when it is handed over to the 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.

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 and

Shap­ing up to be a truly mag­i­cal time of the year

Christ­mas lights switch-on, which will have some added sparkle as it will also mark foot­ball leg­end De­nis Law’s Free­dom of Aberdeen award.

“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 26, and will be com­bined with De­nis Law’s Free­dom of City pre­sen­ta­tion.

The pa­rade from Al­byn Place down Union Street to the Castle­gate, will be led by Lord Provost Barney Crock­ett.

Adrian Wat­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Aberdeen In­spired, said: “As event or­gan­iser we look for­ward to wel­com­ing vis­i­tors to the Aberdeen Christ­mas Vil­lage and are thrilled to mark the of­fi­cial launch. It was a tremen­dous suc­cess last year and we are pleased to bring back an even larger event which cre­ates a won­der­fully festive heart in the city cen­tre.

“All the fun­fair favourites are back

again this year and we are de­lighted to make use of the new civic space on Broad Street. We are also pleased to see the vil­lage com­ple­mented by the com­mu­nity, HAAN and FINE mar­kets over the sub­se­quent week­ends.

“One of Aberdeen In­spired’s pri­mary aims is to in­crease foot­fall within the city cen­tre and we are sure that the at­trac­tions of the Aberdeen Christ­mas Vil­lage will do ex­actly that, while also bring­ing in ben­e­fits to lo­cal restau­rants, busi­nesses and shops as peo­ple en­joy ev­ery­thing our great city has to of­fer.”

The festive sea­son will draw to a close with the Hog­manay cel­e­bra­tions on School­hill on De­cem­ber 31, fea­tur­ing live mu­sic from the Mersey Bea­tles and Banjo Lounge 4, be­fore the fire­works dis­play from His Majesty’s Theatre’s rooftop at mid­night.

O “Look­ing a lot like a great Christ­mas”, Page 26

launch: Aberdeen In­spired chief ex­ec­u­tive Adrian Wat­son and Cllr Marie Boul­ton.

Change: The Christ­mas vil­lage is mov­ing from Union Ter­race to Broad Street.

GO­ING UP: Con­struc­tion of Aberdeen’s Christ­mas Vil­lage.

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