Torcher Parade 2017

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The Torcher Parade - a historic Aberdonian event - made its return to the city on Saturday, with the event being held for the 127th time in its history following its cancellation last year.

 

Students from Aberdeen University, RGU and North-East Scotland College all took part in the parade on Saturday evening, with dozens of spectators of all ages coming out to take part.

 

Due to begin at 18:00, the first sight of the parade from Union Street came at 18:20; torch-bearers leading the way, followed by the floats, with drummers and a second group of torch-bearers between and behind them. While previous events have had longer routes and over a dozen floats taking part, this year’s parade was smaller by comparison, with three floats - one for each student body taking part.

 

First, there was Aberdeen University. An Asian theme dominated their float, with green lights adorning either side, red and yellow colours displayed by the students aboard and a Chinese Dragon head taking centre stage.

 

Then came the college and they set out to impress. Nature held sway here: from forest decorations to butterfly and fantasy costumes - they even had an elf - almost juxtaposing the comparatively dark red lights on their float. They had a live band blasting the tunes out. Drums, guitars, a vocalist (who was having a blast by the looks of things), the lot.

 

Taking up the rear was none other than RGU. Underwater was the idea, on-point was the execution: the fish on both sides of the float alongside their orange lighting was a nice touch, as was “Under the Sea” coming out the speakers.  The pride of place must go to either the pirate ladies or the walking lobster/crab, though.

 

And even beyond dressing up, waving torches and having all kinds of fun, volunteers (and more than one mascot) walked alongside the floats, buckets in hand, to collect money for charity.

 

Since its inception in 1889 by nurses from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the parade has run through varying routes every year bar 2016. On the morning of the event, props, floats and costumes are constructed for the parade in the evening. Thousands of pounds have been raised for multiple charities over the years, including CLAN Cancer support.

 

While this year’s Torcher Parade may not have been to scale compared to some of its predecessors, the fact that it took place at all, let alone with such enthusiasm from both students and the public, has to be seen as a job well done. 

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