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Hide and neep — Kirkwall BID launches annual Neepie Lantern Hunt

Kirkwall BID has launched its annual Neepie Lantern Hunt. Can you spot at least 20 neeps hidden around town, for the chance to win a Kirkwall BID gift card? (The Orcadian/Sarah Sutherland)

Things are starting to get a peedie bit spooky around the streets of Kirkwall, as shops go all in on the Hallowe’en season — and there’s lots of ways for the public to get involved with the fearsome fun.

Last Saturday, Kirkwall BID launched its annual Neepie Lantern Hunt. Your task — if you choose to accept it — is to track down at least 20 of the 40 cardboard neepie lanterns, hidden in businesses around the town.

To help neep hunters get a head start, a list of the businesses involved in the event is available to print from the Kirkwall BID website. If you find 20 or more of the neeps, all you have to to is write down where you found them in each shop, and then take a picture of your finished list to send to BID. Three lucky hunters will then be chosen at random to win a Kirkwall BID gift card, worth £10.

Despite lockdown restrictions putting many of our favourite events out of action, this year, BID is keen for businesses and their customers to have a bit of fun this autumn and winter, all the while working within the guidelines.

“The neepie lanterns are hidden around the shops, and the kids are encouraged to go hunt them down,” explained Kirkwall BID chairman, Duncan McLean.

“It’s so hard to think of what you can do in this pandemic, because you obviously don’t want to have crowds of people gathering anywhere — but the hunt is probably about one or two kids, plus a parent, going around.

“As long as they’ve got their masks on and observing the normal rules, it’s completely safe.”

Next up on BID’s Hallowe’en calendar is the Nasty Neep competition — a chance for businesses to show off their creative flare by carving and decorating their own neepie lanterns to display in their windows.

The neeps will go on display on October 28, with the public getting a chance to vote for their favourite design on social media.

“Every business gets a neep delivered to them, and they carve it in any shape they want,” Duncan explained.

“There were some fantastic neeps, last year!”

Finally, as a chilling climax to its spooktacular events, BID will be hosting a social media celebration of its Hallowe’en parades past.

For the past four years, Kirkwall City Pipe Band has led a parade of ghosts, ghouls, goblins and other sinister looking creatures through the main street and down towards the pier. Unfortunately, it will just not be possible for this type of event to take place in 2020 — but stay tuned to the Kirkwall BID Facebook page, where the organisation will be sharing some monstrous memories from previous years.

For further details on how you can take part in the Neepie Lantern Hunt, you can visit www.kirkwallbid.co.uk/events.

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