Today marks a brand new chapter for the Scottish Parliament as people, the Parliament and Her Majesty The Queen join together to celebrate the Third Session of the Scottish Parliament, alongside guests from Scotland and around the world.
Presiding Officer, Alex Fergusson MSP said:
”This is an uplifting occasion where the very fabric of our society is reflected in the day’s celebrations. It’s encouraging to see people from all walks of life coming together to connect with their parliament. We’re a very proud nation and this day is a day for the people just as the Scottish Parliament is a parliament for the people.”
The public will begin gathering along the Royal Mile from early this morning, anticipating what promises to be a fantastic day of festivities.
Following the procession of the Crown of Scotland from the Castle to the Parliament, the ceremony in the Chamber will begin. Introduced by the Presiding Officer, The Queen will begin the day by welcoming Scotland’s new Parliament with an address to the debating chamber.
The First Minister of Scotland will then thank The Queen for her remarks.
Reflecting the rich multi-cultural make-up of Scotland , school children, community groups, ‘local heroes’, performers and representatives from all corners of Scottish society will walk down the Royal Mile before being joined by MSPs and guests from the debating chamber in the Riding procession.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by the Presiding Officer and the First Minister, will watch the Riding as it progresses down the Royal Mile.
The public, guests of the Parliament, MSPs and others will come together for the Picnic at the Parliament concert and festivities in Holyrood’s landscaped gardens after the Riding procession. Concert-goers will enjoy a spectacular programme of free entertainment throughout the day.
Headlining the event are Scottish indie rockers Idlewild, formed in Edinburgh and now international stars. They will be joined on stage by a magnificent line-up reflecting a spectrum of Scotland ’s diverse music culture.
Included among the acts are: Rising star Keith Jack, runner up in reality TV show Any Dream Will Do, BBC Radio Scotland’s 2007 Young Musician of the Year Catriona Watt, fusion band Salsa Celtica, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, high energy West African drum and dance act Waa-Sylla and the Inverness Gaelic Choir.
Performances will be broadcast onscreen in the landscaped gardens throughout the day along with personal messages of support from Scots around the world. The event will also be webcast at www.scottish.parliament.uk
A photography competition is also running on the day, with people invited to send in photographs of the day. Winning images will appear in an exhibition later this summer, alongside official Parliamentary photographs.
The event to mark the start of the third session is in three parts:
Debating Chamber: Address by Her Majesty The Queen. This will be relayed live to a screen in the landscaped gardens of the Parliament.
The ‘Riding’: Around 1,200 people representing all fields of Scottish achievement, interspersed with bands, banners and performers will make their way down the Royal Mile to Holyrood.
Landscaped gardens: A free public event with live music – traditional, contemporary, multi-cultural and international – drama and dance. Guests and the public will be able to sit together in the gardens with their picnics. Café-style tables and chairs will also be available for guests in a sheltered area at the front of the Parliament.
Free exhibitions: In the Scottish Parliament building, which will be open to the public.
The Parliament’s team of photographers will be capturing the day and can supply images to members of the media on request. Please contact the photography team on 0131 348 6269 for more information.
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Festival of Politics - Friday 24 to Sunday 26 August 2007
The award winning Festival of Politics is now in its third year and presents a fascinating programme of politically-themed events. The programme will be launched in July.