Dundee’s festive lights will be switched on this week, including those on the controversial living Christmas tree.
The festive period officially starts in the city on Thursday, when the lights will be switched on for the first time.
This includes the tree at the Steeple Church on Nethergate, part of the City Churches group, which was donated by Tayside Forestry, as a gift to replace trees damaged in Storm Arwen last year.
It is the second year the tree has been in this spot, after it was moved from its traditional spot in City Square last year, sparking anger among Dundonians.
It was decided to have a living tree as part of Dundee City Council’s aims to become more sustainable.
There will be no fanfare to mark the switch-on, as seen in previous years and elsewhere in Tayside.
As well as the tree, Dundee’s specially-commissioned Christmas lights, featuring iconic characters from DC Thomson comic books, will also illuminate the city centre.
Created using energy efficient LED bulbs, which use a fifth of the energy of traditional incandescent light, they will help to ensure that Dundee will be celebrating a greener Christmas
Councillor Mark Flynn, city development convener, said: “We really wanted to focus on this year’s festivities being sustainable in line with our climate commitments.
“We have also planted a tree at the City Churches, which will grow to over 65ft tall. It’s all very focused on being eco-friendly, which is really important.”
Dundee City Council leader, Councillor John Alexander, added: “The festive illuminations shining their magic on the city centre means the countdown to Christmas is truly under way.
More exciting Christmas
“People in Dundee have told us that they wanted to see a more exciting Christmas offering, and we are delivering on that again this year.
“There’s plenty for locals and visitors alike to enjoy, and all of the Council-organised activities will be free. ”
The tree will be joined by five specially created “trees”, made entirely of reused or recycled materials.
They will be made by local artists, to mark Dundee’s UNESCO City of Design status and in partnership with the V&A Dundee.
The lighting of the Living Tree is the first in a series of activities set to celebrate the festive period in the city.
From the Dundee Hooley taking to the streets on Saturday November 26, to the City Square festivities which begin on December 1, and WinterFest which opens in Slessor Gardens on November 25.
Last year City Square was transformed into a “Winter Wonderland” with activities and Beano-themed decorations.
While efforts to enhance the festive offering in Dundee, including the Winterfest Christmas market, were praised, some locals said the tree should have taken centre stage.
Charity Social Bite had their own “tree of kindness” in the square, for people to leave a spare gift under while shopping for loved ones.