Aberdeen's 50+ Festival attracts thousands to 10th anniversary celebrations

Aberdeen City Council's 50+ Festival has been hailed a success after it attracted more than 5000 participants to its ten-day, tenth anniversary programme of events.

The long-running festival drew to a close for 2012 having enticed thousands of people to a range of diverse events - all funded by The Common Good Fund for people aged over 50 who reside in the City of Aberdeen.

This year's festival welcomed a very special guest for its tenth anniversary with global fashion icon Twiggy opening the city's first-ever Classic Film Festival as part of the 50+ Festival.

Staged over four days the film festival, which was staged by Aberdeen City Council in association with B4films and the Belmont Cinema, attracted more than 1000 cinemagoers to see a host of classic films at the Belmont Cinema as well as offering film fanatics and dedicated followers of fashion the chance to get up close and personal with Twiggy.

The fashion icon kicked off the festival by introducing Ken Russell's 1971 picture, The Boy Friend, before she took part in a special Question and Answer session.

Twiggy said she embraced the festival's ethos to get residents aged over 50 "oot and aboot" and taking part in activities in the city.

She said: "The whole ethos of the 50+ Festival is something that I am really passionate about. When it comes to life I think you should do whatever you want and not what others think is best. If you want to retire then do it, if you don't want to then don't.

"It is the same with fashion, you should wear whatever you feel happy and comfortable in and that doesn't mean you have to look old fashioned."

As well as the appearance of Twiggy an Inter-generational day at Duthie Park attracted a sell-out crowd of 500 people to a marquee featuring the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Strathspey Fiddlers, Garioch Blend as well as hundreds more to enjoy exotic petting zoos, pony rides and circus workshops for children in the park.

Other popular events at this year's festival included Cooking Demonstrations with the Kilted Chef Craig Wilson, art workshops and the perennially popular tea dances at the Beach Ballroom.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam, who attended several of the festival's events, said: "The 50+ Festival has been a tremendous success this year, once again it has boasted a fantastic and varied programme of events and I am delighted that so many residents took part.

"I was fortunate to make it along to several of the events and the feedback was hugely positive and appreciative. I hope that the 50+ Festival will continue to go from strength to strength and residents aged over 50 in the city will continue to get involved and support this fantastic programme and the great work it does."