Twas the night before Celebrate Aberdeen and everyone was beyond excited. Before she crept off for some much-needed shut-eye, the team bullied founder Morven Mackenzie into the blogging hot seat.
What’s new and different about Celebrate Aberdeen 2016?
We’re thrilled to have performances taking place down in The Green, in Union Square and in the Trinity Centre. These are all new performance areas for Celebrate Aberdeen and have allowed us to expand the event once again this year.
What have been the highlights so far?
I love the way that everybody comes together to help. Each year new people get involved in Celebrate Aberdeen. They all seem to love being a part of it – that makes me really happy. The whole event is a huge undertaking but it’s always great when we all get together after months of preparations and enjoy the weekend itself.
Any setbacks or challenges?
t’s no secret that Aberdeen is facing challenging times economically and we were concerned about attracting sponsorship. Our corporate supporters have, however, remained incredibly loyal to the whole initiative. We’re immensely grateful for their support.
It’s also worth mentioning that we rely on the kindness of a small group of volunteers to make Celebrate Aberdeen happen. Between them, they’ve developed a new website, executed a PR and social media campaign, signed up charities, sourced sponsors, written blog posts and organised performers. Obviously, it would be much easier if everyone worked full-time on the event, under one roof. Then again, if that was the case, Celebrate Aberdeen wouldn’t be as unique or special as it is.
What do you most look forward to?
I have a few favourite moments over the course of the weekend. I love it when all the third sector representatives come to Harlaw Academy to pick up their banners. They’re always so excited and positive – it makes all our hard work worthwhile. I also love looking back from the Castlegate to Holburn Junction from the front of the parade and seeing everyone walking down Union Street together. So many charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups take part to the point that they fill Union Street. It’s amazing!
My final highlight is when our volunteers congregate in Union Terrace Gardens on Sunday afternoon to listen to the last couple of bands. Everyone is incredibly tired by that point, but delighted to have been part of something which brings them all together in such a community-spirited way.
What will be going through your mind tonight?
I try not to think about things too much the night before. Once the stages are set up and there’s nothing left to do, I attempt to relax and enjoy the peace. By this point, all the preparation should have been done – there’s no point in worrying about what might go wrong. So much work goes into the event – the devil is most definitely in the detail when it comes to planning – so I can only hope that everything’s been covered. I do fret about the weather but sadly there’s not much I can do to influence that!
What does life hold in store after August 28th?
I would love to say that I’ll be taking some time off and slowing down, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I have a few other events coming up in the latter part of the year which need my attention. I also have some ideas for new events – even another city centre parade, albeit a different kind!
That said, I’m pretty sure I’ll be having more sleep than I am just now…