Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 12:52 UK

Rabbie burns for festival finale

Burns figure
A 30ft figure representing Rabbie Burns will be set alight as the finale of celebrations at the Wickerman Festival next month

A giant figure inspired by Rabbie Burns will be set alight as the finale of a Scottish music festival this summer.

The plans have been revealed as part of the Wickerman event to be held near Kirkcudbright on 24 and 25 July.

The festival always ends with a wicker figure being burned but to celebrate the Year of Homecoming it will represent Scotland's national poet.

This year's proceedings are being supported by £26,000 from events agency EventScotland.

Chief Operating Officer Paul Bush said it was pleased to support the "firmly established" festival.

"This year organisers have adopted a Homecoming theme to run alongside the traditional theme of the Wickerman movie," he said.

"As such this year's burning Wickerman will take on the form of a 30ft high statue of Robert Burns made entirely of wicker which will be a spectacular sight when it's set alight at midnight on Saturday."

'Spread the word'

The Burns-inspired Wickerman has been commissioned from local natural material sculptors Trevor Leat and Alex Rigg.

Wickerman Festival co-ordinator Helen Chalmers said they were "absolutely delighted" with the support from EventScotland.

"The funding has provided a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about the Wickerman to new audiences and highlight the importance of the year of Homecoming," she said.

"We would like to thank everyone at EventScotland who has worked with us on this project and we cannot wait to set alight our Burns inspired Wickerman."

The festival is now in its eighth year and is being headlined this year by The Human League, The Zutons and The Magic Numbers.

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