Festival to honour Mary, Queen of Scots

Some spectacular entertainment is planned.
Some spectacular entertainment is planned.

Kinross provides the backdrop for a spectacular event next month being held to celebrate a significant anniversary.

2017 marks the 450th anniversary of the end of the reign of Mary Queen of Scots in 1567, and the time of her captivity in Loch Leven Castle.

And to mark the occasion, a festival dedicated to the tragic queen is to be held on September 2 and 3.

To be held in Market Park, in the heart of the town, the Mary Queen of Scots Festival will celebrate the rich cultural history and heritage of the area, most notably its famed connection to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. The festival is a signature event of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 and will commemorate Mary Stuart’s life and legacy, showcasing not only the historical importance of the area but also a celebration of contemporary Scottish culture, food and drink.

Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, said: “The story of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots helps show how Scotland’s history is among the most compelling of any nation – and this is also reflected in many of our finest historic sites, from Linlithgow Palace where she was born, to Loch Leven Castle where she was held prisoner before her escape and departure for England.

“The Mary Queen of Scots Festival – as a part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology – offers us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the story as part of our rich heritage and cultural traditions, drawing visitors of all ages from the local area and beyond.”

Clanranald Trust for Scotland, Scotland’s premier living historians, will transform the park into an immersive living, breathing historical encampment for two days.

Known for their work on Hollywood blockbusters Gladiator, Justice League, Transformers 5 and Outlander series 1-3 and their performances at the 2014 Homecoming signature event Bannockburn Live, Clanranald will recreate the hustle and bustle of 16th Century Scotland with Queen Mary herself in attendance.

The encampment will also include the Royal Stuart kitchens and a blacksmith armoury.

A range of family entertainment, talks, storytelling and a celebration of contemporary Scottish food and drink will complete the festival, which is free to attend.

For the full programme, visit www.maryqueenofscotsfestival.co.uk.