ST ANDREWS is heating up for a special event at the end of this month - quite literally.
Last year, Stewart Cassels of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers said: “Being in St Andrews on St Andrew’s Day is like being in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day!”
The ‘‘Chillis’’ have been booked again as the opening headliner for this year’s St Andrews Festival which will take place next Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26, as the weekend closest to the Saint’s day.
Trustee Cameron Harrison told the Citizen: ‘‘Last year’s St Andrews Festival was a big success, with the police estimating that more than 2500 people marched behind the pipe band in the torchlight procession.
‘‘This year promises to be at least as exciting. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, together with support from Black Sheep, kick off the festival with a concert next Friday evening in the marquee which will be specially erected in front of Madras College in South Street.
‘‘That marquee, billed as Undercover@Madras and surrounded by food stalls and a beer tent, will be the main venue for the weekend’s events.
‘‘It will be used as a showcase for local and community acts on the Saturday afternoon, with the main events returning in the evening.
‘‘On Saturday, South Street - from the West Port to Bell Street - will be a pedestrian area for two hours from 5 pm with Santa switching on the Christmas lights.
‘‘He will be joined by famous friends such as Robert Bruce and William Wallace and there is also a possibility of St Andrew himself turning up.
‘‘After the big switch-on, the festival procession will tour the town behind the pipe band and, on its return, it will kick start the Nae4wimps Ceilidh.’’
In previous years, the whole street has been filled with what organisers describe as “the biggest outdoor ceilidh in the world.”
Following the ceilidh, the Peatbog Faeries will play at Undercover@Madras.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday’s concerts are available now from the Byre Box Office or online.
Cameron added: ‘‘The organisers of the festival have had a challenging year but we are grateful for the amount of support we have received from a whole range of bodies and individuals in the town, as well as from Fife Council, and the Scottish Government through EventScotland.
‘‘This has meant the whole town can look forward to celebrating St Andrew’s Day in the only place that actually counts – St Andrews!’’
Cameron also denied rumours that the Red Hot Chilli Pipers may not appear in St Andrews owing to a double booking.
He added: “For the avoidance of doubt, as they say in all the best courtroom dramas, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are indeed coming - they always were!
“Their website does also show them playing in Dresden that evening but they have two bands – their main one, which is coming to the festival, and what they call their corporate band, which will be in Dresden.”