The Aberdeen Christmas Village may be settling into a new home this year but there’s a very familiar buzz in the city centre.
The festivities at Broad Street and the village have been very warmly welcomed. On behalf of the Council and our partners Aberdeen Inspired, I must thank everyone involved in planning for 2017 and for creating a fantastic attraction – not to mention the tens of thousands who have already turned out to show their support by attending.
Year on year the Christmas offering in Aberdeen is growing, with the 2017 Village promising to be the best yet. The market, set in the quad at Marischal College, has been a great draw with its themed weekends – the FINE showcase of local food and drink is just one example, bringing in 13,500 visitors over just two days.
More than 43,000 people turned out on the opening weekend in November for the village as a whole and the response from the public has been fantastic. With family favourites, including the ice rink and fairground rides, back once again there’s something for everyone.
This weekend the HAAN Christmas design market takes pride of place at Marischal College, shining a spotlight on local and national designers across jewellery, ceramics, textiles and much more.
The Christmas Village launch was at the heart of a wide and varied programme in November and there’s more to come in December. From the Christmas tree lights switch-on and Union Street parade, including the Denis Law Freedom of the City celebrations, to the Twelve Days of Christmas sculpture trail, there’s plenty to see and do.
Of course the focus is on fun and embracing the spirit of Christmas, but for Aberdeen City Council there’s also a serious side.
We have a duty to those we serve to make the city a more vibrant, welcoming and engaging place. The way in which residents have taken to the Christmas Village in previous years, and turned out in their numbers, demonstrates the overwhelming support there is.
For businesses we also have a commitment to developing our year-round events programme to ensure we can attract not only locals but visitors who are keen to explore everything Aberdeen has to offer. It takes time to build a reputation as a destination, but I’m confident we are making great strides in doing that. Increased footfall has a tangible impact on the economic vitality of the city.
Those are just some of the factors behind the bright lights and laughter the Aberdeen Christmas Village brings each year – but the main message from everyone at Aberdeen City Council is an open invite to come, enjoy and embrace the Christmas spirit.
It’s a season in which the sense of community shines through. Aberdeen and Aberdonians can be seen at their very best.
Cllr Douglas Lumsden