The skirl of the pipes will fill the Octagon this Sunday , November 29, as the annual St Andrews Day celebrations bring Dunedin’s Scottish heritage to the fore.
Everything from have a go Highland Games events to speed porridge and haggis pie eating, highland dancing demonstrations and a host of musical entertainment , which will run from 10am until about 3pm in the Octagon.
This free event will go ahead, rain or shine.
For the full St Andrews Day experience, be in the Octagon promptly to enjoy the opening of the celebrations, and wear some tartan to fly the flag for Scotland.
Following the stirring sight and sound of the City of Dunedin Pipe Band marching through the Octagon, revellers will be welcomed by Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins .
A wonderful line-up of live entertainment will feature throughout the day, including local artists such as Dunedin Harmony Chorus, Dunedin Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, McCatgut ’n Steel, John McGlashan pipe band, Ghillie Callum Club Dancers, Sounds Nor Easterly community choir, The Two Grumpy Scotsman, piper Scott Marshall ,Bob Scotts Tangle with Trad Interpretations and Ha The Unclear’s Michael Cathro bringing us the Edinburgh Songbook .
Another highlight of the event will be a dramatic, captivating haggis ceremony, led by Ian Seatter, at 12.35 pm.
The society is thrilled to have strongman Danny Devine taking part in the St Andrew’s Day festivities.
He will be lifting the ‘‘Stones of Manhood’’, as well as demonstrating the Stone carry ..Danny will be offering advice and tips on lifting and other strongman activities for those who would like to have a go from 1.30 pm .
Alongside the busy programme of performances, events, and activities, the St Andrews Day celebrations will also offer the chance to sample a diverse range of food and drink.
The treats will include Bracken haggis balls with whisky Mayonnaise, Scottish macaroons, oaty pancakes, haggis pies, shortbread, oatcakes and cheese, whisky along with a special Emersons Scottish Pale Ale of the day .
After a day of immersion in Scottish culture, the celebrations will conclude with lone piper Scott Marshall , followed by a chance for everyone in the Octagon to join together and sing Flower of Scotland.
The St Andrew’s Day celebration relies on volunteers for its success, and the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society is looking for volunteers to help out.
If you are interested, please contact the society by email at DunedinEdinburghSisterCity@gmail.com or via its facebook page.
The Dunedin Edinburgh Sister City Society acknowledges and thanks Strawberry Sound for enabling it to carry out a high-quality event on the Carriageway stage within a canny budget.
The society also thanks the following businesses and organisations for their continued support: Harraways, Gardens New World, Leckies Butchery, Nairn's Oatcakes, Whitestone Cheese, Emersons Brewery, Albar, Rainbow Confectionery, Hirepool,The Scottish Shop, OAR FM Dunedin, Dunedin City Council, Mediaworks, Caledonian Society and Bracken restaurant .
The sister-city relationship between Dunedin and Edinburgh was first established in July, 1974, and was revitalised by Mayor Sukhi Turner in 2004.
Building stronger links between Dunedin and Edinburgh and encouraging celebrations such as St Andrew’s Day, on November 30, has been a key focus of the group.
In 2016, the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society was pivotal in the relocation of the Sylvia Stewart sculpture — depicting a large Scottish stone — to an area near the Water of the Leith within the University of Otago campus.
This sculpture has a “twin” sitting near the waterfront in Edinburgh.
Feeling that St Andrew’s Day was being overlooked by the Dunedin community, the society decided to re-establish celebrations of Scotland’s national day.
In the past five years, the event has enjoyed a renewed vigour, adding to its early beginnings with a wider range of traditional and contemporary activities for all ages to enjoy.