Glasgow Green Live Zone

Glasgow Green Live Zone

Glasgow Green, from today

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For obvious reasons it's kind of tricky to see past the host-city hoopla this weekend, but with so much going on, where to start? Well, for the next couple of weeks, Glasgow's oldest park becomes the main hub for Festival 2014, the huge city-wide programme of culture and entertainment running alongside the Games. Featuring a free, rolling programme of international musical talent, there's room to spare for family activities, comedy, dance and big screen sports coverage. It's also the start and finish point for Sunday's Marathon.

Merchant City Festival

Merchant City, Glasgow, until August 3

Along with the re-invogorated Kelvingrove Bandstand and the BBC's Clydeside HQ, the architecturally grand and culturally cool bit beside George Square is home to another of the Games Live Zones. Under the Festival 2014 banner, the Merchant City's usual summer arts weekend has been supersized to nearly two weeks, with an abundance of free street theatre, live music, and weirdly wonderful outdoor installations. There's also a dedicated Family Zone based around Parnie Street, fitted out with an all-ages traditional street game-inspired outdoor play area.

Vintage Glasgow

Merchant City, Glasgow, Saturday and Sunday

Technically part of the above - but still worth a mention - is the return of husband-and-wife designer team Wayne and Geraldine Hemmingway's retro weekend of fashion, shopping and music. First unveiled to style-conscious Scots last summer, this year sees a vintage hair and beauty makeover salon vie for centrepiece status with a huge marketplace specialising in clothing, homeware, ceramics, and collectibles from the 1920s to the 1980s. Ticketed events include a forties-style supper club ball, a jazz-age cocktail brunch and a series of groovy dance events.

Cargo, Camera, Action

River Clyde at Custom House Quay, Glasgow, Saturday

Glasgow Film's contribution to festivities is this quirky performance-based happening on the banks of the Clyde, featuring musicians, circus performers, artists and filmmakers. Central to proceedings is Glasgow-based arts collective 85A's fantastical, outdoor 'ghost ship' movie shoot, featuring a different live musical accompaniment for each of its five afternoon and evening performances. Visitors can also partake of funky food and drink in a VIP backstage wrap-party-themed cafe, before taking in a selection of specially-commissioned short films from dusk at the site's pop-up cinema.

The Commonwealth Flotilla

Pacific Quay, Glasgow, Saturday

Also river-based is this huge sailing event on Saturday, that will see 250 boats of all shapes and sizes cruising up the Clyde into the city from the James Watt Dock in Greenock. There are still passenger slots available on participating ferries (£30-£40), but for those who'd rather stick to dry land there will be numerous places to catch the spectacle along the route - including at a special viewing area at the Riverside Museum from 11am - directly across the water from the event's finishing point.

Scotland's National Airshow

National Museum of Flight, East Lothian, Saturday

If you can't make it to Glasgow, there's still plenty going on elsewhere, with the Red Arrows supplying the glamour at this year's East Fortune air extravaganza. Celebrating their 50th season, the elite RAF team will be sharing the skies with daring aerial display teams and classic heritage aircraft including Tiger Moth, Lancaster, and Spitfire. The action gets airborne from 10am, with children's activities and entertainment on the ground. Tickets are £10-£20, also giving access to the Museum itself, and aeronautical marvels such as Concorde.

Marie Curie Walk 10

Dalkeith Country Park, Saturday

Although online entry for this twilight 10k walk has now closed, you can still turn up and register on the night for £20 - as long as you can also pull together £60 sponsorship towards Marie Curie's work with cancer patients. The pushchair and canine-friendly route should take about two to three hours, with fireworks and a picnic to follow at the finish line. There are also further Walk 10 events planned for Pollok Country Park on August 16 and Glamis Castle on September 6.

Medieval Mayhem

Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries and Galloway, Friday to Sunday

Easily atmospheric enough for a Game of Thrones shoot, the twin towered gatehouse, moat, and unique triangular walls and of Caerlaverock Castle provide the backdrop for a weekend of family friendly historic fun. Thankfully no grisly beheadings, but lots of costumed performers and storytelling, along with the opportunity to try out medieval weapons and armour. Little ones can also test their skills at hobby horse jousting and foam sword fighting. Entry is included with admission to the Castle, eight miles south of Dumfries (£3.30-£5.50).

Wickerman Festival

Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway, Friday and Saturday

Staying in the south west, where it's a lucky 13th year for one of Scotland's best loved music-and-wellies weekends. Dizee Rascal and Del Amitri headline, with the bill also including the likes of The Feeling, British Sea Power and Roddy Woomble. If the vibes get too heavy, there's also an on-site holistic therapy retreat, with the family-friendly box ticked thanks to a programme of activities and entertainment for children. Matters conclude, as ever, with the burning of a massive wicker effigy. Weekend tickets are £110.

Banchory Show

King George V Show Park, Banchory, Saturday

With a cavalcade of competitive cattle, sheep and horses on display and contests in traditional baking and rural crafts such as scarecrow building and stickmaking, Deeside Agricultural Association's 193rd summer show is a country enthusiast's dream. Taking place in the Abderdeenshire town's King George V showground, the day's entertainment also includes Highland dancing, hill racing, children's fancy dress and pet parade, a mobile pageant, football contests, and a monster trucks display. Entry is £8 for adults, with tickets for over-fives coming in at £5.

Don't Miss

Southern Fried

Perth, Friday to Sunday

Live country, gospel, blues, and folk, a selection of workshops, a free outdoor stage, and the chance to refuel on authentic Southern Soul Food in the Perth Concert Hall restaurant. Headliner Steve Earle's Saturday show is now sold out, but there are still tickets available for fellow headliners Roseanne Cash and Buffy Sainte Marie.