Families can take part in a fun challenge this festive season by finding crucial supplies stolen from Santa and hidden along Go Forth Stirling’s Gingerbread Trail.
The Trail tells the tale of a gang of mischievous gingerbread men who have broken into the North Pole and taken vital items Santa needs to deliver his presents on Christmas Eve.
The missing materials – which include The Naughty and Nice List, Santa’s Present Bag and Rudolf the Reindeer’s Harness – can be found in Stirling shop windows which have been hand-painted with colourful gingerbread scenes by talented local signwriter Ross Hastie.
A range of city centre businesses are involved in the Gingerbread Trail, organised by Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID), which runs until Saturday December 23.
Families can pick up a map and follow the clues around the city centre to locate the missing items, find out who stole them and visit some of Stirling’s wide range of retailers at the same time.
Those taking part include Rishi’s Indian Aroma in Friars Street, hair salon Jayla & Co in Baker Street, greengrocers Ginger Roots in Port Street and The Book Nook in Upper Craigs.
Jitka Fleglova, Community Engagement Manager at Go Forth Stirling, and the BID’s team of Ambassadors have organised the city’s first Gingerbread Trail.
She said: “We wanted to offer families some festive fun as they visit the city centre this winter and to highlight all the amazing shops, cafes and restaurants we have in Stirling.
“A variety of businesses have joined the Trail which sees mischievous gingerbread men causing a stir with Santa and his elves and threatening Christmas by stealing crucial supplies.
“Their shop windows have been painted with gingerbread scenes by Ross Hastie and look fantastic.
“We now hope people will join in the excitement of finding all the missing materials so Santa isn’t late when it comes to delivering presents this Christmas Eve!”
She added: “We’ve had a fabulous response from the business community and it’s great to see them embracing the initiative and putting on themed activities and special menu items as well as offers for the trail-goers.”
A map of the Gingerbread Trail can be picked up from the participating businesses as well as The Pend Café in Port Street, Contempo in King Street, `The Snug’ community hub in the Thistles and the Visit Scotland Stirling iCentre in the Old Town.
It can also be downloaded from the Go Forth website – www.goforthstirling.co.uk/save-christmas/
Meanwhile, a vacant shop at 18 King Street has been transformed into Santa’s Post Office which is where completed trail maps should be dropped off so Santa’s missing items can be returned to the North Pole before Christmas.
Three lucky Gingerbread Trail winners, who will be drawn at random from all the correctly completed competition entries, will receive prizes of advent calendars filled with treats from Stirling retailers.
Stirling businesses are also running special activities during the run-up to Christmas including free gingerbread treats at Stirling Optical, gingerbread selfies at Slanj A Va, a gingerbread house decorating contest at Aberdeen Considine and a free hot chocolate for participants who show their trail map at Hotel Colessio.
Throughout the festive season there will also be a chance to take selfies with the Gingerbread Man who will be visiting Stirling city centre at certain times. Anyone interested should keep an eye on Go Forth’s social media pages to find out where he is day to day.
And the Wee Wolf Bistro is hosting a colouring competition on Saturday December 2 with the winners invited to have breakfast with the Gingerbread Man on Saturday November 16.
Go Forth has also produced a handy guide highlighting Christmas gifts to buy from Stirling’s wide range of independent traders which can be found on the Independent Stirling website – www.independentstirling.co.uk/christmasinstirling/
Go Forth Stirling BID was set up in 2017 and currently represents more than 600 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve Stirling’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
For more details visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk