Fireballs to burn bright once more

One of last year's intrepid Fireball swingers
One of last year's intrepid Fireball swingers

Preparations are in full swing for this year’s Hogmanay Fireballs Ceremony in Stonehaven, and organisers are thanking those helping to make the event possible.

Every year the fireballs committee faces rising costs, paying out for licences, insurance, safety equipment and preparations, and of course fireworks for the spectacular display the town is treated to after the fireballs procession has finished.

The fireball making evening took place last week in preparation for the big night on December 31.

The fireball making evening took place last week in preparation for the big night on December 31.

Vice-chair of the fireballs committee Jim Stephen told the Leader this week that, without the donations made by those who turn out to see the world-famous event every Hogmanay, the event wouldn’t be able to go ahead.

As people in the north- east feel the ever-increasing squeeze on budgets, the amount being donated each year has been falling over the past couple of years and although Aberdeenshire Council gives practical help, it does not offer any financial support.

The committee was relieved, then, to find a new sponsor this year in the shape of Stewart Milne Homes, which has helped to secure the Fireballs for another year.

The company’s construction director, Neil Thomson, said: “Stewart Milne Homes is passionate about championing the local community and we are extremely proud to support the traditional Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony – an event which has been enjoyed for many years and by many generations from across the north-east and beyond.

A swinger leads the Fireballs procession down Stonehaven's High Steret in 2013.

A swinger leads the Fireballs procession down Stonehaven's High Steret in 2013.

“This traditional event is renowned across the world and is the perfect way to bring in the New Year.”

Jim, who has been involved with the Fireballs for over 20 years, added that they event would also not be possible without the support received every year from businesses such as Groundwater, Stonehaven Engineering, Carpet Design, McHardys and Brickfield Motors, among others.