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Thousands attend Burns procession

Crowds gathered in the town where Robert Burns spent the final years of his life to celebrate the poet with a procession lit up by 1,000 lanterns.

Thousands of people gathered in Dumfries for the Burns Night event which also saw performers, dancers and musicians take to the streets.

The homecoming carnival was the centrepiece of the Big Burns Supper, a three-day festival celebrating the best of Scottish culture.

More than 30 groups and organisations took part in the parade, accompanied by floats and huge puppets.

Graham Main, Big Burns Supper director, said: "What blew me away was seeing so many people coming out to support the arts.

"There were rugby players, the Dumfries and Galloway Special Olympics team and our local LGBT group alongside medieval re-enactors, schoolchildren, and pipe and samba bands.

"And as the procession passed the statue of Robert Burns the Big Burns Supper chair, Maureen Farrell, stopped to lay a bunch of red roses.

"The whole occasion was truly spectacular - the costumes, colour, music and enthusiasm were incredible and the crowds absolutely loved it all. It was brilliant to have so many people out on the streets to celebrate Burns Night."

Robert Burns lived in Dumfries for many years until his death in 1796, aged 37, with the area inspiring some of his greatest writing.

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