Established in 1949 Stromness Shopping Week is the longest running festival in Orkney. It was originally formed to attract shoppers to the small town of Stromness, to enable Stromnessians to showcase what the town has to offer. In 1949, the Stromness and West Mainland Chamber of Commerce was formed, and office bearers elected. A constitution was proposed and rules adopted. In 1974 when the Town Council ceased to exist and the Orkney Islands Council was created, Stromness Shopping Week was organised by business men and volunteers as it still is today. The week was to begin on the 3rd Sunday in July. Shop Keepers were encouraged to brighten up, and decorate their shops and the street itself, to help entice the people of Orkney into Stromness and help bring prosperity to the town in the post war years.
The week starts with a service in the Church on the Sunday 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. For full details, the Stromness Shopping Week Programme is available for sale in the run up to, and during, Stromness Shopping Week.
Over the years there have been many guest visitors to Stromness Shopping Week. One of our regular, and very popular, guests are the Scalloway Jarl Squad. Every year there is also a different band to entertain us at the Pierhead and at indoor and outdoor dances.
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.