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Salmond announces Homecoming events

The first phase of Scotland's 2014 Year of Homecoming has been unveiled by the First Minister.

DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION: Children from Pathhead Primary School, Kirkcaldy put on their kilts and T-shirts to spell out Homecoming 2014 at the launch at Hopetoun House in South Queensferry, Edinburgh. Around 100 events are planning during the year. Picture: Stewart Attwood
DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION: Children from Pathhead Primary School, Kirkcaldy put on their kilts and T-shirts to spell out Homecoming 2014 at the launch at Hopetoun House in South Queensferry, Edinburgh. Around 100 events are planning during the year. Picture: Stewart Attwood

About 100 events are planned, including a concert to mark the Ryder Cup opening, a flotilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Europe's biggest brass band festival and a re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Alex Salmond joined VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay at Hopetoun House in South Queensferry to launch the events which are part of a year-long programme of celebrations.

More events, both new and established, will be unveiled over the coming months.

New events include the John Muir Festival in East Lothian, to herald the opening of a coast-to-coast route named after the naturalist, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival in Moray, World Sheepdog Trials in Tain and the European Festival of Brass in Perthshire.

Existing events such as Hogmanay, Edinburgh festivals, Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Edinburgh Mela, Royal National MOD, Turriff Show, East Neuk Festival and Tweedlove Bike Festival will receive funding for homecoming additions to their planned programmes in 2014.

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland is preparing to welcome the world during our second Year of Homecoming in 2014. Next year, people from all across the globe with Scottish connections, and those without, will come to our country to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy the huge programme of events that I am delighted to unveil today.

"Fantastic expressions of culture such as Europe's biggest brass band festival will sit alongside the exciting commemorations of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and a variety of celebrations of Scotland's heritage, history and food and drink in a 12-month schedule that offers something for everyone."

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