Christmas Village and Tree Switch-on Starts Aberdeen’s Christmas Countdown

The countdown to Christmas has officially started today (18 November) as the Aberdeen Christmas Village opened on Broad Street this afternoon. The city’s Christmas tree will also be switched on at The Castlegate this evening.  

Organised by Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with John Codona’s Pleasure Fairs and Aberdeen Inspired, the village will run from today to December 31. Against the backdrop of Marischal College, the ice-rink forms the centerpiece of the village, surrounded by the bright lights of funfair attractions such as the Freak Out and Helter Skelter rides.  

Thrill seekers can also enjoy the Fast and Furious ride while youngsters can have a go on candy cane bungee trampolines, the balloon ride and carousel.  New for this year is the Ice Fun House attraction and the Christmas Village Square – offering a relaxed environment and a selection of street food outlets as well as some outdoor festive games. 

This year the ‘Curated in the Quad Christmas Market’ will return to Marischal College. A host of Scottish makers and producers will showcase their goods at the craft market, which will be open Friday to Sunday over the five weekends before Christmas. 

The Aberdeen Christmas Tree is a Norwegian Fir, which is a gift every year from Aberdeen’s twin city of Stavanger in Norway. It arrived in the city’s harbour and was erected at the Castlegate by Aberdeen City Council.  

The switch-on ceremony will be carried out by Aberdeen’s Depute Provost Councillor Jennifer Stewart and the Deputy Mayor of Stavanger Dagny Sunnanaa Hausken, with Reverend Gary Smith from Aberdeen Churches together blessing the tree. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by The Sweet Adelines singing some Christmas favourites. The switch-on ceremony starts at 7pm. 

The Depute Provost, Cllr Stewart said: “This is such a wonderful celebration to mark the seasonal activities, with the city full of festive cheer. This is a special occasion on the Christmas events calendar and 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’m delighted that Aberdeen Churches Together are blessing the tree and to top the evening off we have performances from The Sweet Adelines.  

Aberdeen City Council Culture Spokesperson, Councillor Marie Boulton said: “The city is sparkling with Christmas festive spirit as Christmas in Aberdeen is shaping up to be a truly magical time of year.  Today kicks off over a month of festive events, with the Christmas Tree Switch on and Christmas Village opening.  

“Christmas in Aberdeen creates activities for everyone but, importantly, encourages people into the city centre, boosting the leisure economy.” 

Alfred Codona, director of Aberdeen-based amusement firm Codona's, added: “We are excited to be back and bringing some festive fun to Aberdeen again this Christmas. We have a brand-new ride for the Village this year along with favourites such as the Candy Canes Bungee Trampolines, Helter Skelter and the Freak Out. 

“Aberdeen Christmas Village is a great addition to the city centre and we take great pride in providing fun and entertainment for locals and visitors alike.” 

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “After a very challenging 18 months and a muted Christmas last year due to the pandemic, it is fantastic to see the Christmas Village and Curated in the Quad market returning to our city centre, bringing the lights, sounds and smells of the festive season to Broad Street.  

 “Together with Aberdeen’s wider retail offering, bars and restaurants, the Christmas Village is a very welcome attraction for families and friends to enjoy and spend time in the city centre. More than ever this year, we encourage people to visit Aberdeen to enjoy a festive day out, soak up the atmosphere and shop local to support jobs and businesses. We are also promoting the Aberdeen Gift Card, which is accepted in many local outlets and allows the recipient to choose their own present. 

 “The Curated in the Quad market will offer shoppers the chance to pick up unusual gifts, clothing, food and drink that have been produced locally, while also raising funds for our event partner Charlie House.  

 “Aberdeen Inspired is pleased to be working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Codona's to deliver a vibrant Christmas Village that will hugely increase footfall in the city centre over the coming weeks.” 

For more information on the Aberdeen Christmas Village and all the other Christmas events taking place in the city, please visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/christmas