A special herd of Santa’s reindeer will be arriving in Stirling this weekend and flying to new homes in shops and cafes around the city.
The festive collection of 20 life-size reindeer, designed and decorated by local schoolchildren, will be featured in a range of shop windows as part of the first Stirling Reindeer Trail.
The initiative is launched by Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District to create a buzz around the city – inspiring people to visit a variety of different retailers and enjoy some festive fun.
Shoppers and visitors will be encouraged to find all 20 reindeer hosted in businesses around Stirling from Burghmuir Retail Park all the way up to St Mary’s Wynd.
They are invited to download or pick up a map – complete with clues - and find and note down the location of every magical animal.
The winner of the Reindeer Trail, who will be drawn at random from all correct entries, will receive an iPad and there will be five great runners-up prizes on offer too.
Entrants will also be asked to vote for the Best Reindeer Design and the winning school will receive a prize.
Go Forth Stirling Director Jon Walton said: “We want people to get excited about the city centre at Christmas and visit all the amazing independent and national traders we have in Stirling.
“There’s a great offering of different shops, restaurants, cafes and bars and the Reindeer Trail will get people engaging with them in a positive and fun way.
“It was fantastic to get the schools on board in designing the reindeer and we were impressed by how keen they were to get involved.
“The designs simply blew us away with the standard of creativity and it was hard to pick 20 from so many brilliant creations. I would like to thank Stirling Council for all their help and support in this project.
“Now the children can go out and have fun showing their families and friends the masterpiece they helped create and finding all the reindeer around the city.”
Schools across the Stirling area were invited to submit individual or group designs for the reindeer and Mr Walton was delighted to receive 160 entries.
A total of 20 winners were chosen from 17 schools, including Crianlarich Primary, Cornton Primary, McLaren High and Wallace High, who were provided with paints to decorate the 1.7m high 3D reindeer.
The animals will arrive at their new city centre homes on Saturday ready for the launch of the Reindeer Trail this Sunday as part of the Stirling Winter Festival Lights Switch On.
Alan Rodgers, who runs Our Place Café in Stirling with his wife Helen, is one of the business owners taking part in the Reindeer Trail.
He said: “It’s a brilliant initiative to bring people into the town centre and increase footfall and we were keen to get involved.
“It’s a good idea to have something different and fun that hasn’t been done in Stirling before and I think it’s great to have the interaction between the city’s businesses and local schools.”
The Reindeer will remain in Stirling throughout the festive season with the closing date for competition entries on Saturday January 5, 2019.
More details about how to take part in the Reindeer Trail along with downloadable maps and entry forms can be found at www.stirling-city.co.uk
The information and entry forms can also be picked up at various locations throughout the city including Thistles Shopping Centre, the Reindeer Trail locations and the Tourist Information Centre in St John Street.
And entries can be returned by post or via special Santa post boxes located in Thistles.
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