The New Year in Stonehaven was welcomed in spectacular style with the time-honoured fireballs ceremony attracting thousands to the town.
Such was the popularity of the famous event, the 10,000 capacity was reached earlier than usual.
Around 50 fireball-swingers were in action in the old town from midnight with four involved for the first-time.
Ross Milne, chairman of the fireballs committee, told the Leader: “It went really well. We had no major problems, everyone worked well together and it sounds like the crowds had a great time. The weather was kind to us, on the night and over the last few days setting up and tidying away.”
He added: “As expected, the event filled up really quickly with some folk finding their spots from the back of nine.
“This meant we had to close our gates on High Street and Arbuthnott Place earlier than usual, at about 11.15 and the last gate (the Boardwalk) was closed at 11.45.”
Although there was no pre-fireballs entertainment in the square again this time, the enthusiastic crowds were warmed up by Newtonhill Pipe Band and Guarana Street Band, with a dazzling fireworks display to round off the celebrations.
Ross said: “Special mention to both George Black and Tommy Ewing who swung for the final time this year.
“Tommy has swung for over 15 years and George for over 40. We might have to try and persuade them out of retirement for next year.”
The organisers are proud that the fireballs ceremony - sponsored by Stewart Milne Homes - continues to grow in popularity as one of the North-east’s most popular Hogmanay events.