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Thursday, 1 November, 2001, 11:08 GMT
Capital's winter festival unveiled
Revellers in Edinburgh
Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations are world famous
Plans for one of the world's largest winter festivals to boost tourism in Scotland's capital city have been unveiled.

Edinburgh hopes to increase the financial benefits for the city by combining its famous Hogmanay celebrations with Christmas events to create the world's largest winter festival.

Meanwhile, west coast rivals in Glasgow are hoping to attract one million visitors to the first year of its winter festival.

Glasgow's Winter Festival starts with a fireworks display and will feature an open air ice rink and a continental market.


Scotland's capital city now has the world's biggest winter festival in Capital Christmas and Edinburgh's Hogmanay and their contribution to ensuring Edinburgh is a year round tourism destination is significant.

Council Leader Donald Anderson
It will conclude with the city's Hogmanay celebrations.

Edinburgh's Capital Christmas will feature a spectacular parade, "ice cave" grottos for children, street theatre and the traditional switching on of Christmas lights along Princes Street.

Last year 300,000 people flocked to the capital during the festive period boosting the economy by an estimated 10m.

With tourism suffering the effects of the terror attacks on America and the downturn resulting from foot-and-mouth disease, it is hoped this year's events will once again pack the city streets.

Official opening

The festivities will start on 22 November with the official opening of the German Market in East Princes Street Gardens and the switch on of the lights along Princes Street.

On 29 November crowds will gather on the Mound for the illuminating of the Christmas Tree, a traditional gift to the city from the Mayor of Hordaland, Norway.

The Christmas Parade, featuring floats and street theatre, will wind its way along Princes Street to Festival Square in Lothian Road, on 2 December.

Council Leader Donald Anderson said: "Scotland's capital city now has the world's biggest winter festival in Capital Christmas and Edinburgh's Hogmanay and their contribution to ensuring Edinburgh is a year round tourism destination is significant.

Edinburgh Castle fireworks
The fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle
"We are committed to building on these successes and making Edinburgh the most popular place to be throughout Christmas and New Year."

In Glasgow, festival project manager Joe Aitken said the events should bring considerable benefits for the city.

He said: "The concept was born to promote Glasgow as a place to come and visit culturally, to shop, and to be entertained.

"We estimate that around one million people will take part, either as participants or spectators."

Ice skating

Mr Aitken said the opening fireworks display should attract about 70,000 people to Glasgow Green on 5 November.

For the second year running, an ice rink, capable of accommodating up to 300 skaters at any one time, will be constructed in the City's George Square.

Ice skating on the 40m by 20m rink starts on 30 November.

The square will also feature a fun fair and a cafe bar, while hot chestnuts will be available to add to the festive spirit.

Adding an international dimension, a Cuban festival will be held throughout the City from 9 to 18 November, while a Christmas Continental Market will be open in St Enoch Square from 8 to 11 November.

Glasgow's Hogmanay programme will be revealed on Monday.

See also:

20 Apr 01 | Scotland
Hogmanay party to be scaled down
01 Jan 01 | Scotland
Praise for Hogmanay revellers
01 Jan 01 | Scotland
Edinburgh's Hogmanay in pictures
08 Mar 00 | Scotland
Hogmanay bash to be scaled down
Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


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