Edinburgh’s Christmas revealed in numbers

ORGANISERS have highlighted the popularity of Edinburgh’s Christmas by unveiling the numbers behind the celebrations.

More than 2.4 million visits were made to Princes Street Gardens and George Street during the five and a half weeks of festivities.

The capital’s big wheel lifted more than 140,000 people up into the skies above Princes Street, while nearly 9,000 guests visited Santa, and more than 66,500 got their skates on at the temporary ice rink on George Street.

Edinburgh’s Christmas was produced by UniqueAssembly, which took on the contract in October at the request of City of Edinburgh Council after the original supplier pulled out.

“It has been an extraordinary challenge to take on this large-scale event at such short notice as production costs rocketed, and the cost-of-living crisis, train strikes and weather all contributed to peoples’ decision to visit the city centre,” the company said.

“Given this, we are delighted that Edinburgh was busy throughout the festive season, and Edinburgh’s Christmas attractions proved so popular with residents as well as visitors.

“Overall, it has been an incredible success story. One little boy was overheard saying, ‘It’s like being in a movie’. This kind of magic is what makes Christmas so special.”

Council leader Cammy Day added: “Edinburgh’s Christmas certainly remains one of the UK’s favourite winter destinations.

“Our absolute priority was to ensure that we provided high-quality festive celebrations for the city – and that these be delivered in the spirit of the feedback received in our consultation with residents, businesses and stakeholders.

“With a footfall of more than two million to this year’s festival, there’s no questioning the popularity Edinburgh’s Christmas or the benefits it brings to the capital – the enjoyment and wellbeing of our residents, but also the economic impact for our businesses and the city as a whole.

“We are especially proud of the opportunities it affords to raise funds for local charities and the free tickets donated to charities and community groups helped spread Christmas joy across the city.”

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Plus, read about Hollywood’s obsession with Robert Burns in the February issue of Scottish Field magazine.