Celebrations in St Andrews

Eddi Reader will be performing in St Andrews this Sunday.

Eddi Reader will be performing in St Andrews this Sunday.

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A weekend of celebrations will mark the conclusion of the town’s St Andrew’s Day festivities – and the start of the Christmas season.

St Andrews is at the centre of a four-day festival in honour of Scotland’s patron saint.

It features the final few days of events such as ‘Previously ... Scotland’s History Festival’ and the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival.

And it also includes tonight’s St Andrews Ball, and performances of ‘Messiah’ tomorrow afternoon and evening in Holy Trinity Church.

On Sunday, there will be a St Andrews versus The Rest of the World golf match, various St Andrew’s Day church services, and a Christmas Emporium at the Old Course Hotel.

And bringing the festival to a spectacular finale on Sunday will be the St Andrews Day Celebrations, including a large-scale outdoor concert, the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights and a mass-participation St Andrew’s Day ceilidh, all taking place along a 250-metre stretch of South Street.

Scottish singing star Eddi Reader will headline the concert, which will also feature a range of music, dance and drama performances.

Anna Newman, of the Fellowship of St Andrews, which involved in organising the event along with the St Andrews Partnership, and central and local government, said: “This is about bringing St Andrew’s Day back to St Andrews – we want to attract a worldwide audience.

“And while we hope it will be a big boost to the tourist industry, there’s something in the programme for everyone to enjoy.”

South Street will be closed to traffic on Sunday, with the afternoon’s celebrations starting at 1.30pm.

Eddi Reader – probably best known as the singer in Fairground Atrraction, whose single ‘Perfect’ topped the UK charts in 1988 – is due on stage at 5pm.

The winner of three BRIT awards, Eddi recently released her 10th solo album, and as well as performing some of her new material, her set is likely to feature a mix of pop, folk, jazz and traditional songs.

The Christmas lights will then be switched on following a ceremony on the main stage at 5.45pm.

This year’s festive lights are sponsored by Rufflets Country House Hotel, and will light up the town every evening until January 5.

Madras College Pipe Band will parade along South Street at around 6pm.

And finally, the day will be rounded off with a mass-participation ceilidh, beginning at 6.15pm.

The Dancing Feet ceilidh band will take to the stage and everyone – beginners and experts, young and old – is invited to join in this free-of-charge, fun event.

Food stalls and children’s rides will be on South Street throughout the day .

For further details of the festival events, visit the website www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com.