Kids on trail of fes­tive rein­deer

Colour­ful cre­ations around city

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Marzella

Young­sters have been on the hunt for rein­deer in Stir­ling city cen­tre in the run–up to Christ­mas.

Stir­ling’s rein­deer trail en­cour­ages chil­dren to search for the an­i­mals in shops and cafes around the city.

A herd of 20 life–size colour­ful rein­deer, de­signed and dec­o­rated by school­child­ren, ar­rived in Stir­ling last month to take up res­i­dence in shop win­dows.

The ini­tia­tive was launched by Go Forth Stir­ling Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District to cre­ate a buzz around the city and to en­cour­age peo­ple to visit dif­fer­ent re­tail­ers.

Go Forth Stir­ling’s Jon Walton said: “The rein­deer look fan­tas­tic in their new homes, where they have pride of place in the win­dows.

“Peo­ple are al­ready en­joy­ing the trail and it’s a great way to get ev­ery­one ex­cited about the city cen­tre at Christ­mas and visit all the amaz­ing in­de­pen­dent and na­tional traders we have in Stir­ling.

“Our free Christ­mas land­train is also run­ning at week­ends un­til De­cem­ber 16, which is a fun way to find the rein­deer and you can col­lect an en­try form on board too.

“Stir­ling area school­child­ren who painted the rein­deer did a fan­tas­tic job and they are all so colour­ful and dif­fer­ent.

“I’m so pleased with the way the traders have taken the pro­ject on board and are en­joy­ing be­ing in­volved with the trail.”

Shop­pers have to find all 20 rein­deer hosted in busi­nesses around Stir­ling in a com­pe­ti­tion which fea­tures a range of prizes, in­clud­ing an iPad.

Trail maps, com­plete with clues, are avail­able and show where chil­dren can find and note down the lo­ca­tion of ev­ery an­i­mal, along with the name of the school which de­signed it.

The Fill­ing Sta­tion in Dumbarton Road is one of the busi­nesses tak­ing part. Su­per­vi­sor Han­nah Moore said: “We’ve had peo­ple com­ing in and ask­ing what the rein­deer is for and we see chil­dren look­ing at it in the win­dow and tak­ing pho­tos.

“I think it’s a re­ally cool idea and it’s help­ing keep the city busy in the run-up to Christ­mas.

“It’s also lovely to see peo­ple be­ing so in­ter­ested and en­thu­si­as­tic about the trail.”

At the Blue Lagoon fish and chip shop in Port Street a colour­ful rein­deer has pride of place in the win­dow.

Man­ager Kate Tan­guc said: “It’s a great idea and we’ve been giv­ing cus­tomers leaflets and telling them all about the trail.

“It’s a real con­ver­sa­tion starter and we look for­ward to see­ing more peo­ple get in­volved with the pro­ject in the next few weeks.”

School pupils were in­vited to sub­mit in­di­vid­ual or group de­signs for the rein­deer.

Twenty win­ners were cho­sen from 17 schools, in­clud­ing Bridge of Al­lan Pri­mary, Killin Pri­mary, Stir­ling High and Ban­nock­burn High, who were pro­vided with paints to dec­o­rate the mod­els.

One of the schools will win a prize for their de­sign, with com­pe­ti­tion en­trants asked to vote for the best rein­deer de­sign.

The rein­deer will re­main in Stir­ling through­out the fes­tive sea­son and the clos­ing date for com­pe­ti­tion en­tries is on Satur­day, Jan­uary 5.

Win­ner of the Rein­deer Trail, who will be drawn from all cor­rect en­tries, will re­ceive an iPad and there are five run­ner–up prizes on of­fer too.

More de­tails about how to take part, along with down­load­able maps and en­try forms, can be found at www.stir­ as well as This­tles shop­ping cen­tre, the rein­deer trail lo­ca­tions and the tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre at the Old Town Jail.

En­tries can be re­turned by post or via spe­cial Santa post boxes in the This­tles.

Christ­mas magic Tanaka Musamkan­beva and Mhairi Sedg­wick (right) with the rein­deer on show at The Fill­ing Sta­tion, Dumbarton RoadOn the trail Cemel Tan­guc (front) and Dy­lan Miah (stand­ing) with the Blue Lagoon’s rein­deer

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