‘Torchlight parade will be a spectacular sight as it moves through the West End’

Glasgow celebrates St Andrew’s Day and kicks off winter festivals
The third Glasgow’s St Andrew’s Day Torchlight Parade took place tonight (Friday, 30 November) and people from across Greater Glasgow turned out to celebrate.
Over 500 participants walked in the torchlit procession down the west end’s Byres Road and finished at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, with hundreds lining the streets to spectate and capture the spectacle, rounded off by speeches and a pipe band performance.
The event, part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, is designed to be an opportunity for people across Scotland to celebrate our Patron Saint, St Andrew. It has a real sense of community and brings different people from across Glasgow and beyond, together for a patriotic occasion.
The pipe bands featured were Strathendrick Pipe Band, Williamwood Pipe Band and Boghall Pipe Band and we were delighted to have children from Hillhead Youth Theatre and WEF’s community outreach groups, carrying thistle lanterns which they made themselves for the occasion.
Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Councillor Eva Bolander, led the parade. She said: “It was an honour as Torchlight Parade Patron, to join everyone at these special St Andrew’s Day celebrations. A day, traditionally, of looking forward with hope and pride in our nation. This event demonstrates our community strength. It’s a great way of coming together to enjoy Scotland’s culture and traditions.”
Liz Scobie, WEF’s chairman added: “Our third torchlight parade has once again been a thrill and this year we had more participants take part than previous years. It’s amazing what can be achieved when communities come together, and we feel it’s important to mark St Andrew’s Day by bringing everyone together to celebrate in a unique way.
“St Andrew was known for his acts of kindness and that’s why we wanted to include SpiritAid as our charity partner this year, donating to a cause which can directly have a positive impact on young people who have suffered as a result of war, poverty or lack of opportunity. This also ties in with Scotland’s Fair Saturday campaign, which is tomorrow, showing support for a social cause.”
As St Andrew was also the patron saint of Ukraine, Greece and Russia, other countries were represented by students from the Glasgow University Russian Speaking society, The GU Ukranian Society and the Greek Community of St Lukes.

The annual summer West End Festival will take place 1 – 30 June, 2019. The deadline for event entries is 31 March 2019.
For further information:
Laura Sutherland, Aura PR
T: 07764 936 840 E: laura@aura-pr.com Tw: @AuraPR
Notes to editors:
•         West End Festival website www.westendfestival.co.uk  also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @westendfest
•         Interviews available on request
•         *Fair Saturday background
Pioneered in Bilbao, Spain, Fair Saturday is a global mobilisation that aims to create a positive social impact on the last Saturday of November. The initiative is designed to serve as an antidote to the consumerism of Black Friday.
In 2017, around 600 shows took place in 114 cities, gathering more than 100,000 attendees and generating around 189,000 Euros for social causes. As the initiative builds momentum, more cities have officially embraced the project.
In 2018, the movement is coming to Scotland! With support across the cultural sector, local authorities and Scottish Government, Scotland will be the first full country to make a commitment to the movement.  The ethos is simple: to promote a fairer society using culture as the vehicle to create a positive impact in our communities.
St Andrew’s Day
1.       St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. A Galilean fisherman, he became an apostle of Jesus, and was known for being strong, sociable and fair, encouraging people to share what they had with those in need. 
2.       Originally St Andrew’s Day was a way for homesick Scots to get together and celebrate their shared ancestral roots. The official national day began in America on 30 November 1729 to offer support to Scottish migrants in distress.
3.       Today St Andrew’s Day presents a powerful opportunity for Scots to keep the spirit of St Andrew alive, by coming together and helping others within their community.
4.       There are many ways to get involved and celebrate Scotland’s cultural strengths and core values this St Andrew’s Day. A wide range of events will take place across Scotland from Friday 17th November until 3rd December and full details of these and ways to support local communities will be shared on www.scotland.org/winter from early November.
5.       Wherever you are in the world, you can join Scotland in celebrating St Andrew’s Day – from the United States and Canada to Australia, from Beijing to Bangladesh. Those who want to learn more about the traditional celebrations are encouraged to visit scotland.org/standrewsday
6.       The Scotland’s Winter Festivals event fund is managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Photograph by Martin Shields 
Tel 07572 457000
© Martin Shields
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The fourth annual St Andrew’s Day torchlight parade returns to the West End – bigger and better than ever.

And this year the spectacle falls on a Saturday – November 30.

Early-bird tickets are now on sale – see links and details below.

Torchlight Parade
Spectacle: the torchlight event has been organised by the West End Festival people. Photo credit: Martin Shields

This time the experience has been widened further and will have more family-orientated activity.

These include lantern-making sessions where parents and grandparents can help children make lights ahead of the procession.

There will also be Scottish myths and fairy tale storytelling, and performances by street theatre artists.


And face painting artists will be waiting to paint faces in the Kibble Palace prior to the parade forming.

All of this activity is included in ticket prices.

The event is organised by the West End Festival team and supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals, Glasgow City Council and Byres Road and Lanes BID.

Torchlight parade
West End Festival Winter Torchlight Parade for St Andrews Day. Photograph by Martin Shields.

Liz Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival, said: “We’re delighted to once again receive funding from Scotland’s Winter Festivals to mark this special day in Scotland.

“Ahead of St Andrew’s Day we’ll be doing outreach in local schools and community groups in the wider west end area, conducting workshops and helping young people to develop confidence, imagination and creative skills through craft-making and drama sessions.

“We hope to build on the event each year with more people taking part and making memories with family and friends.”

Minister for Europe, migration and international development, Ben Macpherson, said: “Modern Scotland’s sense of national identity is proudly inclusive, diverse, compassionate, open and outward-looking.

‘Ahead of St Andrew’s Day we’ll be doing outreach in local schools and community groups in the wider west end area, conducting workshops and helping young people to develop confidence, imagination and creative skills through craft-making and drama sessions’

Liz Scobie

“Our patron saint, St Andrew, was known for being strong, sociable and fair, encouraging people to share what they had with those in need.

“St Andrew’s Day is a welcome opportunity for people to come together, help others within the community, and celebrate our national day in an internationalist spirit.

“The West End Festival provides a wide range of events which attracts thousands of visitors to the city. I am sure the St Andrew’s Day torchlight procession will be a spectacular sight as it moves through the west end.”

This evening celebration of Scotland’s patron saint will take the form of a torchlit walk passing through the main parts of the west end using a rolling road closure from Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

“The rolling closure will mean the roads are safe for the procession to walk but will limit any inconvenience to road users.”

Fire jugglers
ire jugglers will dazzle the crowds at torchlight parade. Photo credit: Martin Shields

* Vouchers for torches are now on sale and pricing is as follows:

Early bird until 20 October – £5 adult torch, £3 for child, family ticket for four £15

From 21 October – £7 adult torch and £4 child, family ticket for four £20

Tickets via www.torchlightparade.co.uk or by calling 0333 666 3366.

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