ST Andrews is once again gearing up to celebrate Scotland’s patron saint’s day, with a bumper programme of events being staged on and around St Andrew’s Day.
St Andrews is increasingly becoming the national focus of attention at the end of November each year: this will be the third year of the St Andrew’s Day Celebrations, co-ordinated by local charity, St Andrews Partnership, and supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
A number of local organisations are helping to deliver this year’s programme, which contains around 25 different events. For many people, the highlight will be the afternoon-long free spectacle in the town centre on Saturday 26th, which will see a big stage filled with the best of Scottish music, including both nationally-known stars and local performers, with street entertainers also entertaining the crowds.
The headline act will be Donnie Munro; the ex-Runrig frontman and his band are known for their rousing performances.
The principal support act will be the award-winning Celtic rockers Skerryvore, freshly returned from a massive tour of North America and Europe. Other acts include Celter Schmelter with their footstomping klezmer music, Edinburgh singer-songwriter, Caroline Gilmour, and a range of local artistes.
One of the day’s highlights will be the traditional switch-on of the St Andrews festive lights, sponsored by BID St Andrews. This year’s switch-on will have a distinctly European flavour – but organisers are keeping the exact nature of this a secret for the time being!
Revellers will then enjoy the return of the now-famous family open-air ceilidh - billed as the world’s largest St Andrew’s Day Ceilidh – with up to 1,500 dancers expected to take part in the early evening.
Other highlights of the Celebrations include the St Andrews v Rest of the World Golf Match on the New and Jubilee Courses – which is already approaching sell-out status – and ‘Open Doors’ events on St Andrew’s Day itself, when local landmarks are opened up for free tours.
The Celebrations will culminate in a major new occasion on the evening of 30th November: The St Andrew’s Day Conversation brings together several leading Scots, each pre-eminent in their field, to discuss what ‘Scottishness’ means to them and how their own backgrounds have shaped their identities.
Participants include prizewinning author, Janice Galloway, the renowned artist, David Mach, and former First Minister of Scotland, Henry McLeish. Tickets for this event, which is being staged at the recently-refurbished Buchanan Theatre, are now on sale.
The celebrations will begin in time-honoured style on 25 November with the annual Beating the Retreat pipe band parade in South Street. An array of other events will include author talks from Jodi Picoult and John Simpson, several exhibitions, food events, a special Park Run and table tennis competition, walking tours, and much more.
St Andrews Partnership’s chair, Jim McArthur, said: “We are delighted to be launching this year’s programme of events, and once again we’re especially pleased to be including around a dozen events being staged by community organisations – this will add a real sense of local authenticity and participation. St Andrew’s Day will once again be an opportunity for us to celebrate Scotland’s culture, here in the town named after our patron saint.”
Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: “St Andrew’s Day is the perfect opportunity for Scots and Scots at heart around the world to celebrate all that is great about our nation – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our first class food and drink.
“We are a country renowned for our warm hospitality, and what better way to mark our tenth Scotland’s Winter Festivals than honouring one of our patron Saint’s most inspiring traits – sharing. This St Andrew’s Day, in the spirit of St Andrew, I encourage everyone to take the time to share – be it a conversation, pot of tea, or even invite someone to the many St Andrew’s Day events happening up and down the country, such as the St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrews.”
Exact timings and ticket details for all the events are now available on www.visitstandrews.com and a printed programme will be distributed over the coming days.
Further information: Patrick Laughlin, St Andrews Partnership, Tel 07905 857250 email@example.com
Notes to the editors:
- The St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrews in 2014 and 2015 were attended by over 18,000 people and brought over £500,000 of economic benefit to the town.
- St Andrews Partnership is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC041684. For further information about the Partnership, visit visitstandrews.com/b2b.
St Andrew’s Day
- St Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s national day on 30th November, and all communities and people living here are encouraged to come together and celebrate.
- There are many ways to celebrate. A wide range of events are taking place from Saturday 26th November right through that week and a number of visitor attractions across Scotland will also be opening their doors to offer free or discounted entry. There are also many ways to celebrate St Andrew’s Day at home by bringing friends and family together to share food.
- St Andrew embodied all the characteristics Scots are globally renowned for: caring, resilient, generous, empathetic, strong and connected to others and this St Andrew’s Day presents an incredible opportunity to keep the spirit of St Andrew alive by sharing or giving to others.
- A digital handbook with all the details and opportunities to get involved will be available on scotland.org/winter from early November.
- Join people and community groups all over Scotland and beyond in coming together this St Andrew’s Day by sharing your celebration on social media and including #ourstandrewsday
- Wherever you are in the world, you can join us in celebrating St Andrew’s Day – from the United States and Canada to Australia, from Beijing to Bangladesh. Those who want to learn more about the traditional celebrations are encouraged to visit scotland.org/standrewsday
- The Scotland’s Winter Festivals event fund is managed by EventScotland.
Photo credit: ‘Jane Barlow Photography’.
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