Countdown to Christmas in Aberdeen begins


ABERDEEN’S countdown to Christmas begins next week as festive celebrations return to the city.  

Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with John Codona’s Pleasure Fairs and Aberdeen Inspired, will officially launch the festive season on Thursday 16 November with the opening of the Christmas Village on Broad Street.  

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New additions this year include a Ferris Wheel at the Christmas Village and festive lighting in Union Terrace Gardens.  

Aberdeen Lord Provost, Dr David Cameron, said: “I am looking forward to welcoming back Aberdeen’s Christmas programme and seeing the city lit up with festive cheer.  

“The events taking place across the city centre are a great way for people to come together and get in the festive spirit.”  

The popular open-air ‘Curated in the Quad’ market, managed by Charlie House, will return to the quadrangle at Marischal College each weekend (Friday to Sunday). The market will showcase a unique line-up each week of locally produced gifts, crafts, food and drink.  

In addition, residents and visitors alike can enjoy a range of festive activities and events across the city, including:  

  • Christmas Lights Switch-on Parade and Charlie House Santa Run – Sunday 19 November 2023 from 5.15pm  
  • Christmas Sculpture Trail with interactive QR Code challenge – Friday 1 December 2023 to Sunday 24 December 2023 
  • Nativity Scene – Monday 4 December 2023 to Friday 5 January 2024  
  • Carol Concerts – Saturday 16 December 2023 

The Lord Provost will lead the lights parade down Union Street and will be joined by the Mayor of Stavanger Mrs Sissel Knudsen Hegdal.  The festivities will begin from 5.15pm with the popular Charlie House Santa Run prior to the main parade.  

Aberdeen’s Christmas Tree, a 35-foot Norwegian Fir, gifted every year from the city’s twin city of Stavanger in Norway, will be positioned at the Castlegate and lit up as part of the parade.  

The Nativity Scene will this year move to the festively lit Union Terrace Gardens, serving as an important reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.  The blessing event will take place on Monday 4 December at 10.30am. 

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “This will be an especially glittering festive season in the heart of Aberdeen, with so many unique and exciting events and attractions making the Granite City sparkle even more than it does all year round, bringing thousands of people into the city centre. 

“Christmas is all about family and family is at the heart of the fun-filled Aberdeen Christmas Village, with the huge draw of the outdoor skating rink, the new big wheel along with other favourite rides, and the rich offering of food and drink.  

“It is also the season for caring and giving and our unique ‘CuratedIn The Quad’ festive market at Marischal College embraces that spirit by supporting the vital Charlie House charity, while showcasing the north-east’s finest locals and creatives, offering goods and gifts you won’t find anywhere else.   

“This year, Aberdeen is one of very few cities across the country that will offer a Christmas festival of this scale and we hope that people will travel from near and far to enjoy the magical festive atmosphere of a very merry Christmas in Aberdeen City Centre.” 

To facilitate the delivery of the Aberdeen Christmas Village, temporary traffic orders will be in place from 6pm on 3 November 2023 to 10pm on 7 January 2024.  

Disabled parking provision in the area will be located on Queen Street and Littlejohn Street.  

Full details of all the events and activities happening over the festive period, including road and traffic restrictions, can be found here: Christmas in Aberdeen 2023 | Aberdeen City Council 

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