Living Lerwick is hosting their Winter Festival again and it will be bigger and better this year. The festive season is taking shape in the town centre. The Christmas lights have been hung up and are ready for the big switch-on parade on 23rd November at 3.30pm. COPE Ltd has tended to the Christmas trees since last Christmas and they are looking even better than before, the majority of them having survived. Lerwick Community Council has awarded Living Lerwick with a grant of £956 to support the Winter Festival. Businesses will decorate the trees and advent boxes in their own unique style, so there should be an interesting mix of decorations by the time the lights are switched on.

Many of Shetlands top musicians will be appearing over the coming weeks together with local up and coming acts. Davie Gardner is co-ordinating the music in Harrison Square every Saturday until the 21st of December from 11am to 5pm and on Thursday 12th and 19th December from 6pm to 8pm. Inferno dance group will also be performing in Harrison Square on Thursday 5th December at 7pm.

The Winter Festival will begin on 23rd November with what will be a day of fun for the family. It will start with live local music in Harrison Square from 11am to 2.45pm, followed by a parade beginning at Bains Beach at 3.30pm. Two Shetland ponies, Santa, Peerie Foxes nursery, Peerie Jewels toddler group, Staneyhill toddler group, Burra playgroup, Little Tykes, Tingwall under 5’s, Lerwick Scouts, Lerwick Cubs, the 1st Lerwick Boys Brigade, the Brass Band and the Jarl Squad among others, will be dressed up and part of the parade. The parade is for everyone - fancy dress is optional and the more the merrier, so you can join in too!

South Commercial Street will be closed for a short time until the parade crosses Church Road. The Parade will then go through Commercial Street, turn right at the bottom of Harbour Street and continue along the Esplanade until Harrison Square. More of Shetlands musical talent will be showcased in Harrison Square after the parade until 6.45pm. Road closures in Commercial Street and along the Esplanade to beyond Harrison Square will be in place until 5.30pm. Access to Victoria pier will be available from Church Road. The Esplanade will be closed for the duration of the parade from Baroc restaurant to Victoria Pier until 5.30pm. Marshals will be present to help control the parade as well as allow buses to pass through at 5pm.

Santa’s Grotto will be in South Commercial Street again from noon till 4pm on Saturdays 30th November, 7th and 21st December.

The town centre businesses will be opening late till 9pm every Thursday until Christmas and Sundays from noon to 5pm to give plenty of extra time for Christmas shopping.

The festival has a certain element of mystery to it but one thing is sure, this is going to be a cut above any past winter event. Watch the Living Lerwick Facebook page for band line-ups and other updates.

Come along and have some festive fun in your town centre!

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