Living Lerwick Directors Ben Mullay & Edna Irvine; Graham Jamieson of Northwards, Jane Leask of NorthLink; and Neil Robertson, Gordon Peterson and Sam Pitt from SIC Roads service.

With the arrival of the Market Cross Christmas tree, the Christmas spirit has definitely arrived at Commercial Street.

The tree, which has been purchased from a new supplier this year, was set in place on Tuesday morning. Living Lerwick sourced the tree, with support from Shetland Islands Council and are very grateful to NorthLink Ferries and Northwards Ltd for providing free transport of this, and the gifted trees from Norway, to Scalloway and Whalsay.

The lights are due to be added, and along with the other festive lights including new additions, will be switched on later this week in time for late night shopping on Thursday. New features this year also include light up reindeer on the planter boxes, some of which are inviting the public to have a chat by text! The Christmas tree and other street furniture will also be up for a chat – see signage around the town centre.

Trail activities begin this weekend too, with an Elf hunt and nostalgic photo archive trail available from Saturday. Both are free to participate in and forms can be collected from the VisitScotland office at the Market Cross, or downloaded from the Events page on the Living Lerwick website. The very competitive Christmas Window competition also begins this Saturday, with voting forms available in participating shops or from the VisitScotland office.

Monday will see the beginning of the Winderfil film trail with the Shetland Film Archive. 10 screens along the street will show archive film footage, with a fun trail sheet to guide and entertain those taking part. Again available from the website or VisitScotland office.

The Winter Wonderland also planned for weekends in December has now sold out.

Living Lerwick Director, Edna Irvine said “I’m just delighted with the tree this year. We took the decision to source it from a new supplier and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

“With all the fun family activities we have this year, including the new lights, and the alternative Grotto event, I think there is something for everyone in the town centre, including many free activities. Late night shopping has already been going on for a few weeks and more and more shops will be open from Thursday this week and through December. Some are also offering private appointments for those who are part shielding, or just want a quiet time to browse.

It’s been a tough year for everyone and we want to thank our customers for supporting the small local businesses in the town centre. Your custom means so much to us and our staff.”

Festive opening hours are being updated regularly on the Living Lerwick website Events page, and the Spend at da Street loyalty scheme continues to 18th December and double stamps will be given on Thursday evenings.

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