The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Stromness Shopping Week

Shopping week was started in 1949 by the Stromness and West Mainland Chamber of Commerce to attract shoppers to the town.

The first festival was opened by Provost George Robertson and local newspaper The Orcadian reported that more than 4,000 people turned out to watch the Saturday night parade. 

The Fancy Dress Parade on the last day of Shopping Week (c) Rebecca Marr

Run by volunteers, there are a variety of events held throughout the week which help to create a carnival-type atmosphere.

Competitions for children as well as adults keep everyone involved and bands help to entertain the crowds.

During the day events are aimed at young visitors with novelty competitions, sports and sideshows while the evenings are aimed more at adults where they can take part in the Yard of Ale contest or The Greasy Pole, and visit pubs where local musicians are often in residence.

Shop windows are decorated for the event and each has an 'odd man out'. Some discussion and, it must be said, argument can be caused as a result of these windows. 

The main event is the Fancy Dress Parade which takes part on the Saturday evening. Current news stories often feature, fun is poked at the local council and everyone is treated to some rare sights as tractors pull a succcession of floats through the town.

A firework display finishes off the event before a band entertains the crowds in the square.