The countdown is under way to Stonehaven’s famous Hogmanay celebration.
Preparations are well in hand for the community’s fireballs ceremony to welcome in the New Year.
Fireball-making evenings have been held in readiness for the big occasion and 50 will be swung in the old town in this year’s fire festival, including four first-time participants.
There has been a good response for marshals for the ancient event but organisers are keen to recruit more.
Fireballs committee chair Ross Milne said everyone is ready for another spectacular event.
He told the Leader this week: “Everything is in place and we are raring to go.
“Despite there being no music event in the Market Square this year, we expect the same number of folk attending the fireballs as in previous years, so as usual we would advise folk to get down early to secure a good viewing spot.”
Ross highlighted a change to arrangements on the day.
He explained: “We will be starting the set up of the event much earlier this year.
“We have ‘no waiting/parking’ in place from noon and road closures from 3pm, so we would ask everyone to be patient with us, as they always are, while we get all the jobs done.”
Stewart Milne Homes is the main fireballs sponsor this year.
Ross also thanked Stonehaven Engineering Ltd at Spurryhillock Industrial Estate which gives its support each year by providing workshop space for the fireball-makers.
With no event in the Square again this year, the town centre is expected to be exceptionally busy and a call has gone out for more marshals.
The volunteers meet at St Bridget’s Hall, opposite the police station, between 8.30-8.45pm on the night for a full safety briefing.
The marshals - who should be reasonably fit and 18 and over - are then put into teams and given an explanation of the area they will cover.
Marshalling begins about 9.30pm and ends around 1am. Warm waterproof clothing and a torch are required - hi-viz vests are provided.
If you are interested, contact organisers through the Stonehaven Fireballs Facebook page: www.stonehavenfireballs.co.uk or call Kevin Boyne on 07811-643856 or 01569-762894.