For the third year running Living Lerwick has worked in partnership with the SIC, Northwards and NorthLink to re-instate the popular big Norwegian Christmas tree at the Market Cross.
Two trees have always been gifted to Shetland as a gesture of goodwill from Norway to commemorate the Shetland Bus operation. These are erected in Scalloway and Whalsay.
Until 2012, when Shetland Islands Council had to implement major budget savings, extra trees were bought and erected for Lerwick by the council, including the tree at the Market Cross.
Living Lerwick director Ben Mullay said: “It’s clear everyone wants a tree at the Market Cross. 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 free of charge and Shetland Islands Council’s roads department has erected our one at the Market Cross.
“Living Lerwick is decorating the tree. We are extremely grateful for everyone’s contribution and happy to have a tree at the cross.”
Meanwhile plans for Living Lerwick’s “magical Christmas light switch-on” event are well under way. It will begin with a parade which starts at Thulecraft on Saturday 2nd December.
Santa will arrive off the lifeboat at 3.15pm at Albert Wharf, turn right on to the Esplanade and travel up on to Commercial Road before taking his place as leader of the parade.
The Christmas lights (provided by the businesses in the area through Living Lerwick) will be switched on by Peerie Foxes nursery bairns waving their magic wands as they pass.
This year’s Jarl’s Squad will be out as part of the parade and the brass band will provide music as the parade progresses. The parade will pass through Commercial Street, down Church Road and finish up at the Market Cross to switch on the new tree lights to the sound of Christmas music.