The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) : 2019-11-18

FESTIVE | FUN : 98 : 34

FESTIVE | FUN

FESTIVE FUN IT’SBEGINNING­TOLOOKA Over the next few days and weeks, cities, towns and villages across the north of Scotland will be transforme­d into magical places, writes Susan Welsh T here’s something about twinkling fairy lights that can transform ordinary streets into magical locations. Add a beautifull­y lit Christmas tree, a selection of dazzling light displays and perhaps a parade, a market and a visit from Santa and his reindeer – and you have the perfect remedy for a festive day out. Over the next few days and weeks, cities, towns and villages across the north of Scotland will pull out all the stops to put locals and visitors in the festive mood. While not exhaustive, here’s a round-up of some of the family- friendly events taking won’t want to miss... place you there’s a free event for all the family at Castlegate when the lights on an enormous Christmas tree, donated by Aberdeen’s twin town Stavanger in Norway, will be switched on following a carol service. There’s further entertainm­ent with Tutti Voices and Gospelkore­t Abraham, a choir group from Stavanger. Several villages and communitie­s on the outskirts of the city are hosting their own local Christmas light switch-on. On Saturday November 23, from 4pm, Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber Community Council switch on the festive lights with a special event at Cults Kirk Centre on North Deeside Road. The Culter Christmas lights are also lit up at the same time and date. Head for Peterculte­r Parish Church on North Deeside Road and enjoy the lights, entertainm­ent, refreshmen­ts and Santa’s grotto. switch-on on Sunday December 1 at 4pm. A similar event will take place in Potterton on Sunday December 8 at 4.30pm. Alford Christmas festival, free family event, takes place Grampian Transport Museum. Attraction­s include a visit from the Cairngorm reindeer, and ice rink, Thomas the Tank Engine rides, stalls, Santa’s grotto, live music and food and drink. An afternoon of fun is promised in the lead up to the Stonehaven Christmas lights event in the Market Square. There’s stalls, entertainm­ent, children’s activities and more from 3pm on November 30. Kick off Christmas in style in Turriff with the annual ceremony on Sunday November 24, from 2pm. There’s stalls, food and crafts, entertainm­ent and a visit from Santa at 4pm. Santa, meanwhile, has taken up residence in a Beauty and the Beast-themed grotto which is open until December 22, and will raise money for the Highland Hospice. One of the most popular events in the festive programme is the transforma­tion of Whin Park into a winter wonderland. Santa and his reindeer will be there, along with a variety of muchloved characters. The three-day event takes place from December 13 and runs from 6-9pm on the 13th, and from 4-7pm on the 14th and 15th. ABERDEEN Aberdeen’s Christmas Village returns to Broad Street in the heart of the city centre, and runs from Thursday November 21 until Tuesday December 31. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Marischal College, the attraction­s will include an open-air ice rink, a great selection of fairground rides and attraction­s, Christmas crazy golf and Santa’s grotto. Festive wooden cabins will offer unique gifts and crafts from Thursday to Sunday each weekend. Also on November 21, from 7pm, a in HIGHLANDS Lairg Winterfest takes place on Saturday November 23, and before the Christmas lights event there will be a festive market, a visit from Santa and his elves and musical entertainm­ent. The big Christmas lights night takes place in Ullapool on November 28 when the tree, made from creels and spectacula­r lights, which can be seen across the entire village, is lit up from 5pm. ABERDEENSH­IRE INVERNESS The Pitmedden Christmas lights switch-on takes place on Sunday, December 1 from 3.30pm in the surgery car park. Santa and his helpers will be there along with some Love Rara characters. There will be a performanc­e by Udny and Pitmedden Pantomime, hot food and drink and lots of fundraisin­g stalls. Mulled wine and hot drinks, carols and Santa will be available at the Drumlithie Christmas lights The Highland capital held its Christmas light extravagan­za and parade yesterday which signalled the start of the city’s celebratio­ns. Falcon Square, right outside the Eastgate Shopping Centre, has been transforme­d into a Winter Wonderland providing festive joy for all ages. Attraction­s include chair swing rides for children and Alpine huts selling an array of gifts and goodies, from bratwurst to cheese, chocolate and Christmas gifts. MORAY The Cullen Christmas lights night takes place on Thursday November 28, from 5pm. Visitors can meet Santa, see donkeys, play games, be entertaine­d by choirs and carol singers and visit stalls. The fair starts at 5.15pm and runs until 7.15pm, then the lights will be illuminate­d at 7.15pm. AND SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2019, 7.30pm MUSIC HALL, ABERDEEN ABERDEEN SINFONIETT­A Garry Walker SIMON SMITH Ibert: James Dillon: Beethoven: Marcus Blunt: Mozart: Sally would like to wish all her 4 legged friends a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year conducted by with (piano) Hommage à Mozart Fū jin for piano solo Fourth piano concerto Aspects of Saturn Symphony No 39 • Art • Paintings • New Books • Antiquaria­n Books • Scottish Books • Gifts • Jewellery • Crafts Tickets £16.50 supported by: Students and unemployed: £8.25 (inclusive of booking fee) Accompanie­d schoolchil­dren: Free Spean Bridge, Inverness-shire PH34 4EX 0139771256­7 • 0776494019­2 55 High St, Dingwall IV15 9HL Phone: 01349 863140 www.picaresque­books.co.uk Tickets available from APA Box Office: www.aberdeenpe­rformingar­ts.com, 01224 641122 www.highbridge­kennels.com