Shops plan weekend of activities

ELLON Traders are gearing up for a special shopping weekend over the course of December 1-2.

Proposals from Chairwoman Tracy Gibb have received a positive response, with local retailers agreeing to open over the weekend and take part in the planned activities.

Speaking to the Times, Tracy said that the event would help encourage residents to shop locally.

The weekend’s events will include a public performance from the Ythan Fiddlers, as well as a Santa’s Grotto in Neil Ross Square on Sunday. A large number of shops which ordinarily close over the weekend will be open to greet visitors, and there will be stalls in Neil Ross Square selling a range of Christmas gifts.

Tracy added that the Traders Group were looking into the possibility of Aberdeenshire Council waiving parking fees on the day in order to encourage visitors, as well as a special ‘Christmas Hunt’ incentive for local shoppers.

She said: “Shoppers will be given the task of spotting special ‘Christmas Stars’ in 23 local shops and getting a postcard stamped. Completed postcards can then be handed in to Jules’ Gems in Ellon Shopping Centre, and will be entered into a prize draw. The winner will receive £250 worth of vouchers to spend in local shops.

“It’s a really good competition to take part in - the draw will take place on December 16, so there’s plenty time for those who want to take part to do their shopping.”

She added that the Shopping Weekend had attracted support from a number of local retailers, who plan to set up stalls in Neil Ross Square on both days.

“Confirmed stalls will be selling jewellery, Christmas wreaths and sprays, and the Store at Foveran will be coming along to sell some of their produce as well.

“We’re waiting for the council to get back to us on whether they would be prepared to waive parking charges for the weekend. It would be a great way to encourage people into Ellon.”

Delicious Sandwich Takeaway & Coffee Bar, Jules Gems, Pink Milk and Harts & Crafts are offering 10% of any purchase made on Sunday December 3 from 10am – 3pm (Quoting ECW01). Meanwhile, on Saturday 1 the Chocolate Bar will host owls from the Owl and Pussycat centre, possibly including Hedwig from Harry Potter. The shop will also be visited by Mickey Mouse and there will be a naming competition for an as-yet un-named owl.