All roads lead to Leith as festival hosts 46 events in 26 venues

Leith Gala Day
Leith Gala Day
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LEITH Festival, the Port’s annual arts and culture event, kicks off this Saturday with the traditional pageant and Gala Day at Leith Links.

In its modern incarnation, Leith Festival has been running for almost 30 years now, but the annual celebrations actually began way back in 1907 as a means of raising money for the poor. Then it was organised by the merchants of Leith.

Leith Pageant

Leith Pageant

This year, 46 events in 26 venues, all within the EH6 postcode, are planned over the festival period - Saturday to Sunday 18 June.

At the Gala Day tomorrow the action kicks of with a host of children’s activities in the Kids Zone, including slides, a bouncy castle and a variety of market stalls.

During the day there will also be live music courtesy of Supa & Da Kryptonites, Boots For Dancing, United Souns, Ayakara, Headhuntrz, Academy Strangers, and Indigo Velvet.

A second stage, Karaoke On The Links, will showcase local talent while students from Leith Academy will perform an excerpt from their upcoming production of the smash hit musical, Billy Elliot.

Children’s performer Mr Boom will also be departing from the his home on the moon and landing his spaceship in Leith to play songs for all the family.

Ahead of all that, this year’s Pageant will see locals from all walks of life dress up in extravagant clothing and parade through the streets of Leith, dancing, singing and performing along the way. The Pageant will begin at noon near Pilrig Park, on Balfour Street.

Bringing the annual celebration to a close on 18 June, The Leith Tattoo will once again take place at The Piazza on The Shore, in front of the Malmaison Hotel.

Performing at the tattoo will be The Cadet Force Band, AKA The Black Watch, BB Pipes & Drums, Colours of Life Dance, the Filipino Army Dance Troupe, the Irish Dance Academy and the Edinburgh Polish Dancers & Siamsior.

Festival director Tony Delicata says, “It’s all about community and togetherness.”

Full programme details