Plans for one of the biggest outdoor Hogmanay celebration north of Edinburgh have been announced.
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will descend on Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen, on December 31 to headline the town’s celebrations.
More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event in the town’s Market Square which will kick-off at 2pm with entertainment throughout the day before musical performers take to the stage.
The town will also be hosting its famous fireball ceremony the same night at the harbour which will be beamed to LED screens in the square – the fireballs are expected to attract another 10,000 spectators.
The event, which replaces Open Air in the Square after it was scraped last year, is being organised by a committee of groups from the town
The idea is the brainchild of hotelier Michelle Ward, owner of the town’s Royal Hotel.
She said: “We’re going ahead with it. We got the permissions a fortnight ago. That was the main hold-up. It got to the point where it was costing so much that we needed to be able to fence it off so we could ticket it as there is no definite source of funding.
“It’s going to be a two-day event with a ceilidh on January 1 in the afternoon. We’re trying to fill in all the blanks now.
“We need to sell 10,000 tickets and we’re really hoping for an early sell-out. If all the tickets go early it means we can start organising park and rides and filling up beds in other areas. We're expecting 25,000 in the town over the two days."
Blazin’ Fiddles will also play in the run up to the bells with local dance groups, a disco and magicians filling in the afternoon.
Early bird tickets for the event will go on sale in the town later this week and will be available from the Royal Hotel and Celtic Chords for £5. Tickets will also be available online in the coming weeks.