Aberdeen councillors have voiced their “disappointment” after two major winter events were cancelled due to Covid-19.
The Granite City’s fireworks display will not take place this November because of the pandemic although the council said the Christmas lights will shine bright this festive period the traditional switch-on celebrations will not take place.
The 12 days of sculpture trail will also return this year.
Last month, it was confirmed this year’s Christmas Village on Broad Street would be cancelled with a number Bonfire night displays across Aberdeenshire have already been cancelled.
The fireworks night and switch-on events normally attract thousands of people to the city, but due to the current restrictions on public gatherings and the uncertainty on when they will be lifted the council has taken the decision to revise these winter events.
Kincorth, Nigg and Cove councillor Alex Nicoll said residents will be “very disappointed” the traditional winter events will not take place.
He said: “I think everyone who enjoys the council firework display will be very disappointed with this news.
“Unfortunately it does look as though the Covid situation will be with us for some time and large scale gatherings are going to be off the agenda including for the Christmas light switch-on celebrations.
“These really are magical events for younger people and young at heart in the city but I am sure we will all still manage to celebrate these events while staying safe.”
Airyhall, Broomhill and Garthdee councillor Ian Yuill said the festive period in Aberdeen will be “very different” this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
He hopes the celebrations can return with a bang in 2021.
Mr Yuill said: “It sadly makes sense to cancel this year’s November 5 fireworks display. The risk of the virus spreading amongst people gathered together to watch the fireworks is clearly unacceptable.
“I am pleased that the Christmas lights on Union Street and Christmas tree at the Castlegate are still going ahead. These will help brighten our city centre at what sadly looks set to be a very different Christmas and New Year season.
“Hopefully, the November 5 fireworks display and Christmas lights switch-on event can return in 2021.“
Aberdeen City Council culture spokeswoman Marie Boulton confirmed that the traditional events will not take place at all this year as a result of the pandemic.
She said they cannot have big crowds gathering in the city because they need to follow Scottish Government rules on these kinds of events.
Ms Boulton said: “Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are re-imagining Christmas and whilst it’s sad we won’t be able to have the enthusiastic crowds gather for the switching on of the Christmas Tree and lights, they will still be installed to bring Christmas spirit to the city and create a festive welcome for shoppers and visitors alike.
“The safety and well-being of residents and visitors to the city remain our top priority and so we must follow all the latest Scottish Government guidance in relation to live events and public gatherings.
“With significant lead-in times and planning required to safely deliver these popular events, it is sensible for us to make the decision not to proceed with fireworks night and to adapt the Christmas switch-on events now given the uncertainty of the current situation.”
Aberdeen City Council is working with Aberdeen Inspired to look at other ways the city centre can be supported during the Christmas period, with a report set to be submitted to the City Growth and Resources Committee next month.
Plans for next year’s Aberdeen Highland Games, Tour of Britain and 2021 winter festival are still being worked on.