Viking raiders are making a BID to capture Elgin

THE VIKINGS ARE COMING – but fortunately for people attending the next Elgin BID event at the Plainstones these marauders have nothing but good intentions.

A group of Shetlanders have agreed to bring the fun of the annual ‘Up Helly Aa’ fire festival to Elgin for the annual Scottish Theme Day on April 29 – during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

Eight ‘Jarl Squad’ members will provide a taste of the Shetland celebration when they dress in their traditional Viking attire and conquer the town – with entertainment in the form of traditional songs.

The visit was arranged when it became known that the Shetlanders were heading to Moray for the Whisky Festival – and they were only too happy to mix work with pleasure.

Already the news of their visit is creating a buzz, according to Elgin BID Chair Gill Neil: “They will visit businesses across the centre to have photos taken with people – and they are really looking forward to it. The reaction to the announcement has been out of this world – people are very excited.”

This year the Theme Day will include massed pipe bands as well as the myriad of stalls presenting Scottish food and drink at its best.

Up Helly Aa originates from the 1880s and is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors each year to Shetland and is a celebration that reflects the Islands’ Viking roots.