THE festive spirit will burst into life across Moray this weekend with Christmas lights celebrations.
Events will take place in Forres, Lossiemouth, Elgin and Buckie.
Buckie Christmas Kracker (BCK) will make a welcome return on Saturday with a fun-packed family day focused on Cluny Square.
The Buckie Business and Retail Association has pulled out all the stops to put on a special event to attract the crowds.
Using planning gain money from the new Tesco store, the local businesses have come up with a timetable of events which starts with ‘Breakfast with Santa and his reindeer’ from 9.30am.
The main festivities will get under way with a grand parade through the town from 11am.
Attractions will include a large globe that youngsters can climb, and a temporary ice rink in one quadrant of the square.
The ice rink promises to be a unique attraction as it comes to Buckie for the first time, and will be in place from Thursday night through to Sunday.
The countdown to the lights switch- on at 4pm on the Saturday will begin with a firework display.
Lossiemouth will also herald the start of its festive celebrations on Saturday night at 6pm when Emmerdale stars Sian Reese-Williams and Rik Makarem switch on the lights.
They will be joined by local athlete Kathryn Evans and Councillor Dave Stewart.
Festivities at the esplanade will get underway from 4pm with entertainments, stalls and a funfair. Fireworks will follow the lights switch-on.
Not to miss out on the Christmas fun, the Elgin Winter Festival on Saturday will take place from 10am to 5.30pm in the town centre and St Giles Centre.
There will be a Christmas market throughout the day, a range of local musicians and entertainers from 12noon, a reindeer parade from 2pm with Santa Claus, and Elgin and District Pipe Band.
Elgin Library will be running a Christmas craft fair and fun day from 10am to 4pm.
The lights will be switched on at 5pm by Cheyenne Duthie from East End Primary School.
Completing a busy Saturday, Forres will also flick the switch on its lights at 6pm.
The entertainment gets underway from 3pm in the High Street with stalls and entertainment.
There will be a fancy dress parade in Andersons playground at 4.30pm, followed by a torchlit parade to the tolbooth at 5.15pm.
Music and carols will be provided by the Culbin Singers and Elgin City Band at 5.45pm.
SOURCE: The Northern Scot