Stage set for annual Fireball Ceremony

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Preparations for this years Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony are well in hand.

A parade of 47 swingers will start the unique local fiery tradition on the stroke of midnight at the Old Town Clock.

This year the lead swinger will be Murray Leiper who will be swinging for the 22nd time.

Of all the swingers Birnie Lees has taken part in the greatest number of consecutive ceremonies and this will be his 51st.

There will be four new swingers who have been marshals for at least two years. They will get their chance to see the event from the other side of the ‘ball!

As in previous years the Association are still looking for any members of the public who would be willing to offer themselves as marshals for the night.

Anyone who wants to be involved in any way can give their details to the chief marshal, Kevin Boyne, on – 01569 765431 or online at kerry.bongo@btinternet.com, or to the chairperson, Susan Leiper, on 07800774965 or through the Association’s website at www.stonehavenfireballs.co.uk

Not every marshal will be guaranteed a view of the ceremony – some are needed to keep some of the piers free of the public. Some will be needed to inform the spectators using the Boardwalk to get to the harbour of a change in access at the Old Pier and Shorehead.

Some will be required on the Bervie Braes to ensure public safety when the fireworks are set off. A few will be required as ‘clickers’ at the four or five entry points so that spectator numbers can be monitored for the police.

Sales of the Association’s 2012 Stonehaven Calendar are going well from various shops in the town.

Copies will be available on the 31st at the entry points along with copies of this year’s brochure. A reasonable donation will be appreciated from all who come to watch.

Increased costs in running the ceremony this year has meant that more fundraising has been put in place to try and cover any shortfall so, any and all contributions are very welcome.

As well as the ceremony the Association is now funding the street cleaning, the clock tower lights, the barriers, the fireworks, the First Aid and Ambulance cover as well as making a contribution to the pipe band.

A lot of strong support from local businesses helps to offset some of the costs and hire charges that could be incurred in the running of the event. The Association is very grateful to all these unsung benefactors.