Christmas tree to light up the Castlegate

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the switch-on ceremony for Aberdeen’s Christmas Tree at the Castlegate on Thursday 23 November.

The 35-ft Norwegian Fir, which is a gift every year from Aberdeen’s twin city of Stavanger in Norway, arrived in the city’s harbour on Wednesday 15 November and was erected at the Castlegate by Aberdeen City Council Tree Squad.

The switch-on ceremony on Thursday 23 November starts at 7pm and is part of the city’s Christmas in Aberdeen festive events line-up.

The switch-on ceremony will be carried out by The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett and the Deputy Mayor of Stavanger Bjorg Tysdel Moe, with Aberdeen Churches Together blessing the tree and giving the traditional reading, and a musical performance by Big Noise Torry.

Aberdeen Lord Provost Barney Crockett said: “The city centre already feels very festive with the Christmas Village on Broad Street, but the lighting of the Castlegate Christmas Tree is always a special event on the festive calendar that allows us to recognise the successful partnerships between organisations in Aberdeen and Stavanger that have been cultivated over the years.

“It is a pleasure to switch on the Christmas tree lights with the Deputy Mayor of Stavanger whose city has been so generous in gifting the tree to us; I am delighted that we have Aberdeen Churches Together providing the blessing of the tree and the musical performance by Big Noise Torry is sure to be a highlight of the evening.

“This is a wonderful festive occasion for all the family and the start of a weekend of exciting events culminating in the Christmas Lights Switch-On Parade led by Denis Law who received the Freedom of the City over the weekend?

Stephen Taylor of Aberdeen Churches Together (ACT) said: “ACT are delighted to be involved once again with the lighting of the Castlegate Christmas Tree. We have worked with Aberdeen City Council on this event for many years and it is always a highlight in our calendar of events”.

Laura Horn, Team Leader at Big Noise Torry, one of four Big Noise centres in Scotland run by the charity Sistema Scotland, said: "We’re absolutely delighted to be taking part in the switching on of the Christmas Tree lights this year.

“We have 20 very excited children from Big Noise Torry looking forward to performing as part of a choir at the ceremony.

“The children, P4-5 pupils from Walker Road and Tullos primary schools, will be singing a short medley of Christmas songs to get everyone into the festive spirit.

“Being part of this special community event is a wonderful opportunity for the children to perform in front of their friends, family and community members, while also helping to build their confidence and self-esteem. We are extremely grateful to Aberdeen City Council and all our funders and partners for supporting Big Noise".

The lighting of the Castlegate Christmas Tree is the beginning of a weekend of festive events, which includes FINE Christmas Food and Drink Market and the Christmas Lights Switch-On Parade / Denis Law Freedom of the City on Sunday.

Details of the weekend are:

Christmas Tree Switch-On

Thursday 23 November - 7pm

FINE Christmas Food & Drink Market

Thursday 23 November – 6pm -9pm

Friday 24 November – 10am-6pm

Saturday 25 November – 10am-6pm

Sunday 26 November – 12pm-8.30pm

Trinity Centre Reindeer Parade

Sunday 26 November – 12pm

Christmas Lights Switch-On Parade / Denis Law Freedom of the City

Sunday 26 November – 5.30pm