Celebrate Aberdeen – How it all started

The best ideas often emerge when the mind is truly relaxed. Such was the case with Morven Mackenzie while holidaying in Washington DC six years ago.  Amidst the noise and colour of a parade rejoicing in all that was great about America’s capital city, she had what is known as a ‘light bulb moment’.  This was something that her adopted city needed.  Something it deserved. Something that would acknowledge its own supportive culture and the people behind it.  In this blog post, Morven tells the story of how Celebrate Aberdeen began…

On my return from holiday, I continued to think about the parade I’d seen in Washington – and how the concept could be transferred to Aberdeen.  I felt that it could work but knew that I needed help to make it happen. It was time for action.

Phones were lifted. Emails were sent. Committees were formed. Plans were made. Dates were set. Sponsors stepped forward. Charities signed up. Volunteers sacrificed hours they didn’t know they had. A new event was coming to the Granite City…

Celebrate Aberdeen burst into life in August 2011. Its aim? To celebrate and support the city of Aberdeen’s third sector.  A resounding success, the inaugural procession brought together over 3,500 people from 130 different third sector organisations.  As the parade marched, danced and played its colourful way down Union Street, the spotlight of the city shone brightly on its charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations.

Fast forward five years and the ethos of Celebrate Aberdeen – to support and showcase the city’s third sector – remains steadfast. The event itself, however, has grown beyond its flagship procession, incorporating music, comedy, dance and sport.

There can be no doubt that 2016 is presenting the city and its people with considerable challenges. Our third sector’s services – and the volunteers who help to deliver them – are arguably needed more than ever during these testing times.  In recognition of their continuing contribution, Celebrate Aberdeen 2016 aims to be at its biggest and best, combining as many different individuals, groups, charities and organisations as possible. Two activity-packed days await the Aberdeen public on August 27 and 28.

Who would have thought we could achieve all this from a holiday-fuelled flash of inspiration? Do join us this year if you can – we’d love to see you.