The town centre was a hive of activity this afternoon with Living Lerwick’s street parade the centre of attraction.
Heading towards Commercial Street via Pitt Lane the atmosphere was immediately evident, with children holding balloons and people lined up on both sides of the street in anticipation of the event.
Not everyone was aware of what was happening, however, as a few bemused shoppers picked their way through the throng.
One elderly man was a case in point. “Whit’s aa dis?” he enquired of a woman standing nearby.
“It’s the parade,” she replied. “The Christmas parade.”
“I thought Christmas was next month,” he shrugged, and carried on his way.
At around 3.45pm the lights were switched on, the dusk having begun to fall. The first evidence of the parade, which had started at Bain’s Beach, was the appearance of jeweller Ken Rae, a Living Lerwick stalwart, in a festive hat.
He was followed by the rotund figure of Santa himself, and a few “ho ho ho’s”.
Then came the acclaimed Shetland ponies in their Fair Isle garb. They were quite willing to be patted by excited children and one even had a sniff of somebody’s shopping bag. Perhaps there were carrots inside.
The parade included a host of playgroup, nursery and toddler group representatives, followed by Lerwick Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and Guides in uniform.
At around five minutes to four the Lerwick Brass Band appeared, and immediately struck up with an impressive version of Oh Come All You Faithful, followed by God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.
Last, but definitely not least, came the Jarl’s Squad, with Guizer Jarl Stevie Grant leading an good turnout of Vikings. This should be an ideal warm-up before their big night at Hogmanay in Edinburgh next month.
To the strains of Jingle Bells the crowd began to disperse, many of them heading towards Harrison Square where the Revellers would be playing live.