HEARTS might be racing clear at the top of the Championship – but now Hibs have a chance to become kings of the Castle.
Edinburgh’s most famous landmark will be given a bright new look in a bid to kick off the New Year in style.
A variety of colours will, in turn, be shined on the castle walls tonight – as a social media campaign is launched for city residents to decide their favourite shade.
Then, early next month, the attraction will remain either red, green, pink, orange or blue for a whole week.
But there is no chance it can be turned maroon.
With the hotly contested Edinburgh derby kicking off on January 3, radio personality and Hibs supporter Grant Stott reckons fans will be utilising the contest to put a green stamp on the Castle.
“I think both city clubs place a lot of weight on the Castle,” he said. “Hibs have got it right on their badge, and, of course, Hearts have got Tynecastle, and so it’s something that fans of both teams can really lay a claim to.
“And so for the Castle to be doing something like this right around the derby, it’s likely to bring a lot of fans out.
“I’m sure a lot of Hibs supporters will be doing their absolute best to make sure the Castle is lit up the right colour at kick-off.”
From 5pm, the Castle will cycle between the different colours so that residents can get a taste of the options.
Each colour will be sequenced on a six-minute rotation until 9pm – after which time residents are encouraged to vote for the most striking using a set of special hashtags on Twitter.
Pete McIntosh, secretary of the Hibs Stanton supporters branch, said he expected the contest to go viral on the club’s online chat groups.
“A lot of the forums will go to town with this,” he said.
“It’s all in good fun, but it would be a great start to the year to see the Castle in green.”
Former Hibs star Paul Kane added: “It had better be green – that’s the only colour that visitors should be seeing when they come to our city.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of opposition with Hearts fans trying to light up the Castle in red, even if it’s not maroon, and so it’ll be a tight vote. But it’s all about the banter.”
Even though maroon isn’t an option, Hearts fans vowed to put up a fight to keep the Castle out of the hands of their bitter rivals.
Derek Watson, of the Hearts Supporters Trust, said: “Once they get wind of it, I don’t expect Hearts fans to stand for it at all.
“I’m sure they’ll be working as hard as they and sending in as many votes as possible to make sure the Castle is red instead of green.”
Nick Finnigan, executive manager of Edinburgh Castle, said the contest was designed to kick off the New Year in a bright and cheery fashion.
“As one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Castle forms a key part of Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations,” he said. “This Christmas we are giving the people of Edinburgh – as well as visitors to the city – the opportunity to decide what colour the castle will be for a week in January.
“The most popular colour will be used to light up the Castle during the first week in January to help beat the January blues.”
n Football fan or not, have your say tonight by using one of the following hashtags on Twitter: #castlered #castlegreen #castlepink #castleorange #castleblue.