Christmas has landed in Stonehaven

Stonehaven had its biggest ever start to the festive season last week, with the Christmas lights switch on attracting big crowds.

Residents, businesses and community groups came together for the extravaganza last Wednesday evening, which saw Santa stop by in his sleigh to help switch on the lights. There was also a choir, band music, and over 40 businesses kept their doors open for the late-night shopping event.

Little Libby Lawson and her cousin Cameron have a wee word with Santa.

Little Libby Lawson and her cousin Cameron have a wee word with Santa.

The light-up was performed by community council joint planning secretary, Peter Greig, who was aided by Santa who arrived on his sleigh with members of Stonehaven Round Table and a group of local youngsters.

They were joined by representatives of Stonehaven Flood Action Group and the Open Air In The Square committee who will be working together on Hogmanay to help shift the tree to make way for the hugely-popular party starring Scots rock legends, Simple Minds.

Other highlights of the shopping festival included a nativity scene featuring Porridge the donkey who came courtesy of supporters of Brooke - an international animal welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules.

Music was provided by the Bon Accord Silver Band, Haven Harmonies choir and a DJ. Stonehaven Rotary Club provided refreshments.

Santa and his little helpers gather round to switch on the lights.

Santa and his little helpers gather round to switch on the lights.

The pre-Christmas event was the brainchild of Stonehaven Business Association who were delighted so many shops, businesses and organisations had joined in.

Businesswoman Chris Stirk of Ma Simpson’s music shop said: “The support from the community has been wonderful and it was a ‘ho-ho-ho-happy way’ to start the festive season.”

On the night, many shops were offering special discounts along with mulled wine, mince meat pies and other festive treats.

The tree was donated by Deeside landowner David Strang Steel and the lights provided by Altens training company, Imorph.

Stonehaven Flood Action Group calendars were on sale on the night, have you got yours yet? They are only �5 and feature beautiful pictures and art works each month from local artists Andy Hall, Colin Brown and Francis Boag. Are you thinking about Christmas shopping yet? What about picking up a few of these for stocking fillers! You can get them from the following shops in Stonehaven: John Briggs Furniture, the Spectacle Company, Gallery 55, Mearns Art House, Smiths Solicitors and Stonehaven Garden Centre. 'All proceeds go to our Resilience Fund.

Stonehaven Flood Action Group calendars were on sale on the night, have you got yours yet? They are only �5 and feature beautiful pictures and art works each month from local artists Andy Hall, Colin Brown and Francis Boag. Are you thinking about Christmas shopping yet? What about picking up a few of these for stocking fillers! You can get them from the following shops in Stonehaven: John Briggs Furniture, the Spectacle Company, Gallery 55, Mearns Art House, Smiths Solicitors and Stonehaven Garden Centre. 'All proceeds go to our Resilience Fund.

The Open Air in the Square Committee got involved with the festivities.

The Open Air in the Square Committee got involved with the festivities.

Phoebe Lawson (7) ,Daniel Coll (5)  and Oscar Lawson (5) managed to give santa their wish lists on Wednesday night

Phoebe Lawson (7) ,Daniel Coll (5) and Oscar Lawson (5) managed to give santa their wish lists on Wednesday night

Rosa and Blair had a great time meeting Santa. Good fun was had by all and it was a good atmosphere around the town. Guillanottis free ice cream was a particular hit!

Rosa and Blair had a great time meeting Santa. Good fun was had by all and it was a good atmosphere around the town. Guillanottis free ice cream was a particular hit!