St Andrews will mark the day of its namesake patron saint with a party headlined by former Runrig frontman Donnie Munro.

The town’s St Andrew’s Day Celebrations will see 25 events over six days, including a street party at which Munro will take the stage.

Runrig are best known for their 1980s hits including Loch Lomond and Dance Called America and are on tour with their final studio album, The Story.

Also performing will be award-winning Celtic rockers Skerryvore, Celter Schmelter, Edinburgh singer-songwriter Caroline Gilmour and several local acts.

The afternoon party on Saturday November 26 will be followed by what is billed as the world’s largest St Andrew’s Day ceilidh, with up to 1,500 dancers expected to reel open-air under the stars.

The town centre spectacle will also see the switch-on of the Christmas lights which will have a distinctly European flavour, the nature of which has been kept secret.

St Andrews is increasingly becoming the national focus for St Andrew’s Day, and the celebrations which were attended by more than 18,000 people last year form part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme.

Jim McArthur, chairman of St Andrews Partnership, 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 name after our patron saint.”

The celebrations will begin in time-honoured style on November 25 with the annual Beating of the Retreat pipe band parade.

They will conclude on November 30 with a new finale, the St Andrew’s Day Conversation, which will see several eminent Scots including author Janice Galloway, artist David Mach and former First Minister Henry McLeish discuss what Scottishness means to them.

Other highlights will include the annual St Andrews versus the Rest of the World golf match and an open doors day when local landmarks will welcome people for free tours.

There will also be author talks with Jodi Piccoult and veteran war correspondent John Simpson, exhibitions, food events and a special park run.

Scotland’s 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 10th 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.”

Source: The Courier

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