St Andrew’s here as Capital celebrates Scotland’s saint

Pulse of The Place will be performing in St Andrew Square on Sunday as part of the free St Andrew's Day celebrations. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

Pulse of The Place will be performing in St Andrew Square on Sunday as part of the free St Andrew's Day celebrations. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

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SCOTLAND’S patron saint will be celebrated across the Capital this weekend with a series of events and attractions for all the family.

Youngsters are being offered the chance to discover Edinburgh’s history for free as part of the Scottish Government’s St Andrew’s Day Out scheme.

We have an all-day programme of some of the finest Scots poetry, music and dance”

UNDERBELLY SPOKESPERSON

Free child places are being offered at attractions across the city, including The Real Mary King’s Close, over the weekend, while a Historic Scotland giveaway for landmarks has concluded after a successful take-up.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Queen’s Gallery will also be free to families on Sunday, while there will be a variety of St Andrew’s-themed activities within the venues.

And St Andrew Square will play host to a variety of activities to celebrate its namesake, ahead of the official day of celebration on Monday.

As part of the wider Edinburgh’s Christmas programme, there is a huge line-up at the Spiegeltent and on the Main Stage, from a performance of Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man to country dancing workshops.

Scots Makar Liz Lochhead will give an exclusive reading of some of her most famous works while later on, Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens will appear alongside his band the Whisky Hearts.

All events within the Spiegeltent are free, but ticketed; guests must have pre-reserved tickets to guarantee admission.

Meanwhile, the Main Stage will host youth samba band Pulse of the Place to get everyone in the party mood from lunchtime, while there will be a nativity carol concert in the afternoon.

And award-winning three-piece folk-pop band Blazin’ Fiddles have promised an “explosive performance” from 7.30pm. They are due to close the event in style by playing their greatest hits from almost 20 years of their career.

Other free activities to look out for tomorrow are face painting and a haggis treasure hunt.

A spokesperson for Underbelly said: “We are delighted to be hosting Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations for a second year, with an all-day-long programme featuring some of the finest Scottish music, poetry and dance – all free – to celebrate Scotland’s national day. On St Andrew’s Day itself, Virgin Money Street of Light officially opens. To date we have issued over 175,000 free tickets. We advise everyone to book now to avoid disappointment.”

Elsewhere, there is two for one entry to the Nelson Monument, every child goes free with every adult to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and there are free children’s places on Edinburgh Bus Tours and Gilmerton Cove until Monday.