Following three years with no large Christmas tree at the Market Cross, Living Lerwick have worked in partnership with SIC, Northwards and Northlink to re-instate the popular tradition this year.
Two Christmas trees have always been gifted to Shetland as a gesture of goodwill from Norway to commemorate the Shetland Bus. These trees are erected in Scalloway and Whalsay. Until 2012, when the Council had to implement major budget savings, extra trees were bought and erected for Lerwick by the SIC, including the tree at the Market Cross.
Steve Mathieson, Vice Chair at Living Lerwick said: “We surveyed our members on how we could improve our Winter Festival. The results were definitely conclusive on where people want a Christmas tree. Buying, transporting, erecting and decorating a large Christmas tree is hugely expensive, so we had to look at how to provide that without blowing our budget.
Working in partnership, we have managed to find a solution which benefits everyone. Northwards and Northlink have transported all three trees from Aberdeen for us free of charge and Shetland Islands Council Roads Department will erect our one at the Market Cross. We are also extremely grateful to Lerwick Community Council, which has agreed to provide funding to help us decorate the tree.”
Plans for the Living Lerwick Winter Festival 2015 are well underway. It will begin with the Christmas light switch-on parade at 3.30pm on Saturday 28th November. The parade will start at Victoria pier, where Santa will arrive by Lifeboat. The bairns from Peerie Foxes will switch on the Christmas lights with their wands as the parade progresses through the town centre. The parade will end at the Market Cross with the switching on of the Christmas tree lights.