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Thousands turn out to make switch-on a Kracker

By Sarah Rollo

Christmas Kracker, Buckie Christmas Lights, Christmas, Buckie, James Hooton, Sam Dingle
Christmas Kracker, Buckie Christmas Lights, Christmas, Buckie, James Hooton, Sam Dingle

A SURGE of public support helped make Buckie's Christmas Kracker a fun-filled, family event to remember.

Thousands packed the town for Saturday's celebration and official lights switch-on, which was undertaken by Emmerdale star James Hooton who plays Sam Dingle.

Crowds were treated to a spectacular parade, attractions, competitions, entertainment, a fun fair and fireworks as well as new festive lights, purchased thanks to a £32,000 groundswell of local support.

Chairman Gordon Cowie said the dry and relatively mild weather helped to make the day.

He said: "It was a brilliant Kracker. The old lights were well past their sell-by date and the new ones are bigger, brighter and better all together.

"The Square was packed with people and then the lights went on and the fireworks went off and it was really spectacular."

At the end of February, the organising committee made the shock decision to cancel this year's event due, mainly, to a lack of volunteers.

However, a public outcry saw the decision reversed and Councillor Cowie said local people had answered the call.

He said: "Our committee is very small and everyone on it worked so hard to make the Kracker a success.

"I would also like to thank everyone who helped out in the run-up and on the day for giving us their time because we got a lot of extra help this year. It was among the best yet and everyone seemed to be having a really good time. It really was a great atmosphere."

Early Christmas presents were snapped up at the event's Christmas market and local shops, while Father Christmas also made an appearance.

Meanwhile, a new Santa Fun Run proved a popular addition to the packed programme of events.

Cllr Cowie added: "We had a huge raffle and the shops were very good to us with some fabulous prizes.

"There was also a fun fair, marquee, a lorry and car display and we must have had about 100 in the parade in colourful costumes.

"There were also acts performing on the stage throughout the day, including the school choir and community choir.

"At night, we had a Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton tribute act and Emmerdale's James Hooton got up and sang with them, it was very, very good."

Money raised from this year's event is still be counted, but will go towards ensuring next year's Buckie Christmas Kracker is a similar success.

* See this week's Banffshire Advertiser for more Kracker photos.

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