Free family fun flies the flag for St Andrew’s Day

Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts will appear. Picture: comp
Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts will appear. Picture: comp
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A STAGE version of a popular book by a leading children’s author will take centre stage as the Capital celebrates St Andrew’s Day in style.

Free tickets were today up for grabs for a 12-hour extravaganza in St Andrew Square on Sunday, November 29.

Topping the bill is Stick Man – a play based on the book by Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler – which will be staged in the Spiegeltent.

The venue will also host a performance by Royal Scottish Country Dancing and a Scottish storytelling session.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s award-winning national poet Liz Lochhead, a Fringe veteran, will read to crowds.

Music lovers can enjoy performances from the likes of Celtic Americana act Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts.

Families can expect face painting, a haggis hunt and an opportunity to sample Scottish culinary delights.

Tickets for the free event went up for grabs this morning at www.edinburghschristmas.com with organiser Underbelly urging people to move quickly to avoid disappointment.

Charlie Wood, director of 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.

“There will be something for everyone.”

The St Andrew’s Day celebrations, which run from 10am to 10pm, will be followed the next day by the big switch-on of the Virgin Money Street of Light on the Royal Mile, which will feature a host of local choirs in the run-up to Christmas.

Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme, which is partly being funded by a £390,000 grant.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “St Andrew’s Day offers the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our great nation by getting involved in a diverse range of events and activities which are happening the length and breadth of the country to mark our national day.

“Over the years, Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebration has gone from strength to strength, attracting visitors from near and far to a packed programme of family-friendly events and activities, which this year also includes the 
eagerly anticipated Virgin Money Street of Light.”