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Published On: Sun, Dec 9th, 2012

Are you ready for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay?

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay claims to be truly an occasion for all the family this year with activities for all ages across the three day Festival.

The Festival starts on Sunday 30 December 2012 with the Torchlight Procession which this year for the first time will start from outside The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street.  7,000 torchbearers will be led through the city by 26 of Shetland’s famous Up Helly Aa Vikings and five pipe bands and will be joined by an anticipated audience of over 20,000.  Whether carrying a torch or just enjoying the experience, the procession will then move to Calton Hill for the spectacular Son et Lumière and firework finale.  Vouchers for Torches can be purchased in advance for £6 each or on the night for £7.00 (this event was a total sell out in 2011/12). This includes a donation to Barnardo’s Scotland and Forth Radio’s Cash for Kids. The Torchlight Procession is supported by EventScotland and The City of Edinburgh Council.

Baby Loves Hogmanay Disco offers a chance for families with younger children to enjoy their very own Hogmanay experience and to countdown to midnight – on the other side of the world!    This childproof club is aimed at parents with babies, toddlers and children up to 7 years.  Real club DJs spin and mix retro disco and current pop tunes (at baby friendly volume) so the whole family can party together. Fancy dress is optional but partygoers are encouraged to come dressed as their music and celebrity heroes from the 70s, 80s and 90s through to 2012.  There’s a chill out zone, private karaoke, face painting, dressing-up box, kids drinks, snacks and sandwiches platters, dance floor games and more – all included in the price.  And for mum and dad there’s a licensed cash bar too.  Baby Loves Hogmanay Disco takes place on Sunday 30 and Monday 31 December at 12.00pm and 2.00pm at Electric Circus on Market Street, Edinburgh.  Tickets are £8.00 plus booking fee for adults and children (non-walking babies are free).  This is a Hogmanay partner event managed and produced by independent promoters Baby Loves Disco.

While the World Famous Street Party and Concert in the Gardens are not recommended for anyone under 16 years of age, New Year’s Day offers a host of activities for children and families.  By popular demand, Edinburgh’s Dogmanay returns to the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme this year, produced by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Scottish Sled Dog Society and supported by EventScotland.

Get up close to the action as the Alaskan Malamute, Canadian Eskimo Dogs, Greenland Dogs, Samoyed and Siberian Huskies team up for an exhilarating afternoon of knockout racing using sleighs, racing rigs and scooters with teams of 2, 3 and 4 huskies competing against the clock.   The entertainment will start at 12.00noon and feature novelty dog shows, a canicross display and awards for junior handling, the waggiest tail and dog-most-like-owner and there’s even an opportunity to snuggle a sled dog.  Entry for spectators is free of charge.

The New Year’s Day Triathlon also makes a popular return this year, and in addition there will be a duathlon for kids of 8 – 15 years old involving a short run, a 2k bike ride, and another short run (all on closed roads) around Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park.  The kids’ duathlon will start at 11.30am and the Triathlon at 12.30pm, both from The Royal Commonwealth Pool.   Entries for the duathlon can be taken on the day and cost £5, entries for the Triathlon are available at www.entrycentral.com/index.php?raceID=3and will close on Monday 17 December.

The New Year’s Day Triathlon is presented by Edinburgh Triathletes and Unique Events as part of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, with thanks to The City of Edinburgh Council, EventScotland, Historic Scotland and The Tricentre.   A 2013 Speedster 50 Road Bike is being offered as a prize in a lucky draw open to all participants in the Triathlon. The Speedster, generously donated by Scotts Sports, comes with a Shimano groupset, Syncros wheels and parts together with a comfortable alloy frame.

Also on Tuesday 1 January, and with the support of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, Your Lucky Day, a whole festival in one afternoon, invites visitors and residents of all ages to celebrate the very best in Scottish culture with a packed programme of events in venues across Edinburgh’s Old Town.  Atmospheric theatre, spoken word, unique musical performances and even a lucky tearoom will be hidden in destinations around the city from the Greyfriars Kirk to The City Art Centre, The Roxy Hall to The Hub.

Revellers will be invited to start at Destination 1, the National Museum of Scotland, and to throw a dice to decide their next destination.  The throw of the dice will decide their route around the Old Town for the rest of the afternoon where it is hoped they will discover something uniquely uplifting at eleven of Edinburgh’s most atmospheric settings.

Lucky participants might join in the dancing at the Highland Ceilidh or the Hogmanay Hoedown, enjoy inspiring music from young Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni or shiver at the folk song ghost story Crows Bones.  They might immerse themselves in Duncan Chisholm’s Kin, a beautifully crafted journey into the past using music, narrative and film or listen to Words per Minutewith a selection of Scottish writers and poets; try The Luck Factor with Professor Richard Wiseman or enjoy a Scottish afternoon tea with a difference in The Lucky Tearoom.

Your Lucky Day will culminate at Destination 13 with a spectacular street theatre show by French company Plasticiens Volants who have been commissioned to stage Big Bang, their stunning animation of the history of the world from the present back to that lucky day around 13 billion years ago when by current scientific consensus the universe was created – one lucky day!     A fantastic family event to round off three fun filled days of celebration, the show is free and open air.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh’s Festivals & Events Champion, said: “These activities and events characterise perfectly the diversity of Edinburgh’s winter celebrations.

“From Baby Loves Hogmanay Disco to the Loony Dook, the Torchlight Procession to Dogmanay, there really is something for all the family over the three days and I’d encourage everyone to come along and soak up the fantastic festive atmosphere.”

Pete Irvine, Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “We are delighted to be offering so many fun and exciting activities across the three days for families and children of all ages.  Come and celebrate the start of 2013 with all the family here, in the home of Hogmanay.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay really is an event for the whole family and the plans for this year, from the Torchlight Procession to January 1st, look fantastic. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the global popularity and appeal of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is certainly testament to that.”

Revellers can purchase tickets for all the events and vouchers for the Torches in the Torchlight Procession in one of three ways:

Online at www.edinburghshogmanay.com;

by calling Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 573 8455 or

by calling into the Hogmanay Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh.

And entries for the Triathlon can be made at www.entrycentral.com/index.php?raceID=3

About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born Freelance multimedia journalist, always available for commissions!

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