Community groups, Scotland’s ‘local heroes’, musicians and entertainers will be among 2000 people taking part in a colourful, historic ‘Riding’ procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
The 21st century version of the historic Riding – which first took place in the 17th century – will mark the opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday, July 2.
After the Riding makes its way down the Royal Mile to Holyrood, Her Majesty The Queen will address MSPs in the Chamber.
All 129 MSPs have been asked to nominate one of their constituents in recognition of the important work they do to help others or their community, and the ‘local heroes’ will be invited to participate in the Riding.
The day will also feature Holyrood’s ‘Big Day Out’ – a fun-packed afternoon for all the family. 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.
Commenting on all of the day’s planned events, Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP said: “Some people might see the Scottish Parliament as boring or stuffy – it’s neither – and The Big Day Out is a great chance for people to come to Holyrood and experience Parliament for themselves.
“With a mini-Highland Games, art, science, music and dance all on offer, our Big Day Out should be fun for all the family.”
He added: “The Riding will be as far from the Parliament’s ‘grey suit’ image as you can get, with Chinese dragons, Bollywood-style dancers, banners, music and some truly amazing people who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to make a positive difference in Scotland.
“We’re inviting everyone to defy the changeable Scottish weather, put on their party clothes, and help make this Opening of the Scottish Parliament an occasion everyone will remember for years to come.”