A 1,000-lantern Burns Night carnival in Dumfries will celebrate Scotland’s diversity and the theme of homecoming. Details have now been unveiled for the event, which is a key part of Homecoming Scotland 2014. The carnival will see more than 2,000 performers, musicians and dancers parade through the heart of the town, dressed in spectacular costumes and accompanied by floats and huge puppets.
At the heart of the carnival will be a love story – the tale of an unknown soldier of the First World War and the sweetheart to whom he longed to return from the trenches. It will also explore how Scotland is home to an incredibly diverse population and how our homes and lives have changed over the past 100 years.
More than 30 local organisations are taking part including schools, disability groups, army cadets, NHS workers, LGBT groups and a multicultural association. Another carnival theme will be a celebration of the family of nations represented by the Commonwealth, with the flags of its member nations towards the head of the procession. The international and multi-cultural feel will be further strengthened by the compelling rhythms of the Manchester School of Samba.
Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Director, said: “The carnival will be a spectacular feast of costumes, colour, light, music and performance – a great start to the 2014 Year of Homecoming. “And it will all focus on ideas about coming home and what home is all about. “The whole of the community in Dumfries and the wider region are getting involved and we’re really looking forward to welcoming a big crowd to enjoy this fantastic event.
The procession will start at “Burns was a humanitarian and internationalist who spoke of the universal condition. The 1,000 lantern carnival is not only a spectacular way to celebrate Burn’s Night – it also shows that our national poet’s values and works are as relevant - if not more so - to Scotland’s society today as they were to the nation of 250 years ago. and wind its way from George Street, past the Burns Statue and into High Street. Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government Culture Secretary, said:
“With world-class events taking place in the next few months, 2014 is Scotland’s year to shine. Being part of the Big Burns Supper celebrations in Dumfries is a great way for people to come together and be part of what is sure to be a special year to remember.”