Stromness Shopping Week is the longest running festival in Orkney. The event was started in 1949 by the newly formed Stromness and West Mainland Chamber of Commerce to attract shoppers to the burgh. There was no Shopping Week Queen in the first year and the festival was opened by Provost George Robertson. It was reported in the ‘Orcadian’ at the time that 4000 people turned out to watch the Saturday night parade and the streets had been decorated with 900 flags.
A committee from days gone by
Knife throwers at the golf club
Stromness Shopping Week is a time when the community all pulls together to ensure a good time is had by all. It’s a time when Stromnessians who have made their home elsewhere come home to enjoy and participate in the festivities.
The week starts with a service in the Church on the third Sunday of July and the official opening ceremony is held on the Monday when the elected Shopping Week Queen is crowned. This takes place in the Town House Garden in the town centre in front of a large crowd of onlookers. This starts the week of fun. For full details see the Programme.
Over the years there have been many visitors to Stromness Shopping Week. One of the main features is the Scalloway Jarl Squad. Every year we have a different band to entertain us at the Pierhead and at indoor and outdoor dances. Who remembers Eddie Edmunds, Colorado, Ruby Rendall, Sheila Henderson, to name but a few.
On the 12th November 2007 the Stromness Shopping Week Association officially became a registered charity under the Charities and Investment Act (Scotland) 2005 and was assigned the Scottish Charity No SC038922 on the Scottish Charities Register.
One of the other highlights has been Big Rory and Morag Stilt Walkers extraordinary.