If moaning was a sport, some people in Aberdeen would be beating world records and winning Olympic gold medals.

Especially so, when it comes to talking about the Granite City itself. As an in-aboot-comer, it always surprises me how quick folk are to put down the place they call home.

It’s dirty, it’s boring, it’s dull, it’s backward, there’s nothing to do, nothing worth seeing, the council is run by numpties (okay, might give you a bit of slack on that one).

And any attempt to move forward or do things differently invariably draws down a chorus of disapproval – often visceral at that. I refer you to the baying of the No Kingsford Stadium crew.

If you were to listen to all these negative voices, you would be tempted to pack your bags and head for somewhere brilliant – like Edinburgh (see, I automatically and without hesitation big up the place of my birth).

Fortunately, there are other voices out there singing a different tune. And this weekend those voices will come together to make an even bigger noise.

Welcome to Celebrate Aberdeen.

Welcome to an event that exists purely to put the focus on all the people – the many, many people – who are doing such good things for our community.

These are the charities, the third sector organisations, the community groups, the social enterprises, the performing artists, all the people who make life better for those around them.

The people who work so hard and so tirelessly to make Aberdeen a great place to live.

And you know what … they are doing a brilliant job.

We are blessed in this city to have that sense of community, that selfless instinct to make things better, to enrich the lives of others.

For the most part, you don’t see them, don’t hear about them, don’t think about them.

But they are there and make Aberdeen – the whole of the North-east – what it is; a great place to live.

This weekend will see them parade down Union Street, entertain us at venues across the city and invite us to the biggest free party in the city.

Go along, join in, cheer them, sing with them and, above all, applaud them.

The best way to drown out the dreary “cannae do” brigade is to Celebrate Aberdeen.

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