Riding to Holyrood: participants announced


Community groups, including Shetland Vikings; Polish, Punjabi and Highland dancers, pipe and brass bands, choirs, and martial arts organisation Yee’s Hung Ga, manning a Chinese dragon, will be among over 2000 people taking part in a colourful, historic ‘Riding’ procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, it has been announced today.

The 21st century version of the historic Riding – which first took place in 1520 and continued until Parliament was abolished by the 1707 Act of Union - will mark the Opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 2 July.

The day’s events will include:

  • Her Majesty The Queen addressing MSPs in the Chamber.
  • The Riding makes its way down the Royal Mile to Holyrood
  • Local Heroes: all MSPs have been asked to nominate one of their constituents in recognition of the important work they do to help others or their community. All Local Heroes are invited to participate in the Riding as part of the Scottish Parliament’s Opening Ceremony.
  • Holyrood’s ‘Big Day Out’ – a fun packed afternoon for all the family.  With a programme that has something for everyone, the gardens and doors of the Parliament will be open to all to explore, observe and participate in a full programme of events including a mini-Highland games, Music and Dance, Science and Nature, Art activities for Kids and much more.


Full list of Riding participants (confirmed at time of publication):

Each section of the Riding will be led by a community organisation carrying a banner, featuring a line from the Edwin Morgan’s poem, Open the Doors! which was commissioned for the Opening of the new Scottish Parliament building in 2004.

Section 1

Banner 1: Open the Doors!

Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS Band)
Open the Doors! (Fife Youth Arts)

Air Cadets
Flings and Things
Boys Brigade

Banner 2: Fosglaibh na dorsan!
Fosglaibh na dorsan! (Glasgow Youth Arts Hub)

YouthLink – South Lanarkshire Youth Services
YouthLink – Cowdenbeath Area Youth Bank
YouthLink – Govan Youth Information Project
Bord Na Gaidhlig

Section 2

Banner 3: Light of the day shine in, Light of the Mind Shine Out

Light of the day shine in, Light of the Mind Shine Out (Youth Arts Collective North East)

Yee’s Hung Ga (Chinese Dragon)
Scout Scotland (Half)
Listen2 Us
2B Heard
Polish Dance Ensemble
Girl Guides Scotland
Shotts and St Patricks Brass Band
East Coast FM – School Bell
Fierce Pro Dancers

Section 3

Banner 4: They come together like petals of a flower

They come together like petals of a flower (Achievement Bute)

APV – Punjabi Folk Dance
Young Scot
Love Music Community Choir

Scouts Scotland (half)
Edinburgh Signing Choir

Section 4

Banner 5: Come down the mile, into the heart of the city

Come down the mile, into the heart of the city
(Royal Mile Primary School)

Preston Lodge – Pipe Band
MSP Guests
Local Heroes + Guests
Local Media
Consular Corp
Other SP Guests

Section 5

Banner 6: Noted ghosts of history

Noted ghosts of history (#FreshCreations)

Shetland Vikings
DC Thomson – Oor Wullie
Royal Mail Staff
Royal Mail Horse and Carriage
Scottish Women’s Convention
RCN  - Forth Valley Nurses Choir

Banner 7: Enlightenment of their days

Enlightenment of their days (Ayrshire Youth Arts)

Newtongrange Silver Band
Haemophelia Scotland
Girls Brigade

Section 6

Banner 8: Threads of Pride

Thread of Pride (Falkirk Community Trust)

Pulse of the Place – Youth Samba
 DofE Awards
The Outward Bound Trust
Prince’s Trust
April’s Street Feet
Youths Highland
Float (Bucksburn Academy)


Big Day Out:

For more information on the free events for all the family at the Big Day Out, visit: www.visitparliament.scot/big-day-out

Download a PDF copy of the Big Day Out programme:


To add the Big Day Out to your calendar, visit: www.visitparliament.scot/event/save-the-date 



Contact information

Members of the media should contact:

Public information

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  • info@parliament.scot
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

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