Final arrangements are now being put in place for this year’s Yule Log competition in Stromness – taking place this Hogmanay from the Pierhead in the town.
Last year’s event was a huge success attracting over 200 participants and huge crowds.
The event is again being supported by a funding award from Event Scotland’s Winter Festivals fund.
The Yule Log is a ‘tug of war’ competition, pitting those living in the North end (Northenders) against those from the South End (Soothenders) in a battle of strength as a large log is dragged through the streets of the town to opposing goals.
The game was traditionally played in the town on Christmas Eve, up until 1937, when the cutting down of a tree in the town for the purposes of the event was outlawed by the Town Council.
The game was brought back in 2017 as part of the town’s Per Mare events, which marked 200 years since Stromness became a Burgh of Barony. The 2017 event saw the Soothenders reign supreme – with the Northenders sure to be putting up a fight to grab bragging rights this year.
The event will remain largely unchanged this year, with the goals staying at the foot of the Church Road for the Sootheneders and Flett’s Butchers for the Northenders. Again, the dividing line for deciding the teams runs through Graham Place, Springfield Crescent and Grieveship.
The two main changes this year will be the introduction of a junior Yule Log and a later start time for the main event.
The main event will begin this year at 4.00pm, with the Junior Yule Log starting at 2.30pm
Musical entertainment will be provided at the Pierhead throughout and there will be a fireworks display to close the event at approximately 5.00pm.
The Junior Log Pull has been introduced as part of the Year of the Young People and will be open to those aged 8 – 16. The junior section goals are the gable end of the Ferry Inn for the Northenders and the middle of the close at Argo’s Bakery for the Soothenders.
Team captains have also been selected this year. Glen McLellan will captain the Soothenders, with Sinclair Bain leading the North.
George Argo will captain and support the south team in the junior log pull, Gordon Deans will captain and support the junior north team.
Kris Bevan, a Soothender and Chair of the Stromness Community Development Trust, said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting the return of the Yule Log competition in 2018, and look forward to this becoming an annual event in the Orkney calendar”.