Aberdeen’s Christmas lights will be switched on in spectacular style on Sunday, November 25 with a fire and ice themed parade led by The SHUMA Up Helly Aa Vikings.

For the first time, the Vikings will parade down Aberdeen’s Union Street with a long boat and will carry their traditional torches, providing a must-see spectacle as the main parade sets off at 5.30pm from Albyn Place to Castlegate.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett will get the festive extravaganza underway, with Santas on scooters setting off just after 5pm followed by the Charlie House Santa Fun Run on Union Street at 5.15pm.

The main fire and ice themed parade, as well as the Vikings will also feature panto characters, a number of festive floats, festive street entertainers, local charities, sports groups and community organisations all led by the Grampian and District Pipes and Drums.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said “The Christmas lights transform the city centre each year, brightening up the dark nights and bringing the festive season to life.

“The parade is a great way for families and friends to enjoy this magical time of year in the city centre and for many the light switch-on parade signals the start of the celebrations. There is lots to see and do in Aberdeen this Christmas and I’d encourage everyone to enjoy what’s on offer throughout the festive season.”

As part of the Vikings’ visit to the city, on Saturday, November 24 they will also be appearing at Union Square, Bon Accord Shopping Centre and Trinity Shopping Centre from 2-3pm to meet shoppers and provide photo opportunities.

Viking Guizer Jarl Ian Bray said: “We are hugely excited and honoured at the prospect of taking part in this year's fire and ice parade. Aberdeen is considered home from home for many Shetlanders, and it will be a real privilege to march down Union Street, with our galley and our torches, letting the Granite City know the Vikings have arrived!

“The fact we will get to meet Santa and his reindeer is the icing on the cake, and we look forward to soaking up the Christmas atmosphere over the whole weekend.”

The lights switch-on parade is just one of several events that are taking place in the city as part of Christmas in Aberdeen. Full details of the programme can be found at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/christmas .

There will be various parking restrictions and road closures in place for the Christmas lights parade and the Trinity Centre Reindeer Parade taking place earlier on Sunday:

Between 6pm on Saturday, November 24 and 7.00pm on Sunday, November 25, there will be a ban on parking on Albyn Place between Albyn Grove and Alford Place, Victoria Street between Albyn Place to its junction with Waverley Place/Thistle Street except for vehicles associated with the Christmas lights event.

On Sunday, November 25 between 11.30am and 1pm and again from 5pm to 7.00pm, the ban on right turns from King Street onto West North Street will be temporarily suspended, as will the ban on right turns from Union Street onto Bridge Street and the right turns from Holburn Street onto Willowbank Road.

Also on Sunday, Victoria Street from its junction with Albyn Place to Waverley Place/Thistle Street from 2.30-6pm. Albyn Place will be closed between its junctions with Alford Grove and Holburn Junction from 4-6pm. From 5-6.30pm the full length of the Union Street, Castle Street and King Street corridor will be closed between Holburn Street and East North Street. King Street, between East North Street and Castle Street, the full length of Castle Street, and Union Street, will be closed from 11.30am to 1pm, as will Market Street between Union Street and Guild Street and St Catherine’s Wynd, from its junction with Netherkirkgate and Union Street. Alternative routes will be available.

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