Union canal to light up with lanterns and music in Flotilla of Light this weekend

The event will take place on Saturday.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 12:46 pm

Edinburgh’s Union Canal will be brought to life this Saturday as boats decorated with lights and playing music float into the city.

The Flotilla of Light will see a procession of 20 canal boats move slowly from Harrison Park to Leamington Walk between around 5.45pm and 6.15pm.

The event, which has been organised annually for several years by the Lowland Canals Association, grew out of a bonfire night traditionally held every December among boaters.

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The Flotilla of Light in 2018.

Now all are welcome to join in with the event, either by catching a glimpse of the convoy on its way from the starting point of Ratho, or gathering to welcome the boats at Harrison Park.

Children and adults are invited to hold a lantern by the canal side to add their light to the display.

Children who take part are promised treats thrown from the passing boats.

Organisers also ask those who live beside this section of the canal to put a candle or lantern in the window.

Pierre Potel, a member of the Lowland Canal Association, said: “It’s a wonderful tradition. Last year we didn’t advertise much and we had hundreds of people, so this year as we have advertised a bit more, we expect a very large crowd!”

The 43-year-old marine engineer has lived full-time on his canal boat Loch Ness since 2010.

He added: “It’s a really awesome family event, and it should be spectacular from the bank.”

“Last year we had really great music as well - the people waiting on the bank could hear us before they could see us!”

Green councillor for Craiglockart and Fountainbridge and city canal champion Gavin Corbett said: “The flotilla of light has been organised for a couple of years now.

“It’s an opportunity, at a dark and cold time of year, for the boating community to celebrate the canal and to invite the neighbouring communities to join in.

“So I really hope it takes off this year and becomes an annual fixture as the canal approaches its bicentenary in 2022.”