Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Homecoming 2014 events unveiled by First Minister

Homecoming 2014
Image caption The first phase of Scotland's 2014 Year of Homecoming was unveiled by the First Minister Alex Salmond at Hopetoun House in South Queensferry

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

About 100 events are planned including a concert to open the Ryder Cup and a flotilla to celebrate the Forth Road Bridge's 50th anniversary.

Other events include 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 for the launch.

They are part of a year-long programme of homecoming celebrations.

Tweedlove Bike Festival

New events include John Muir Festival in East Lothian, to herald the opening of a coast-to-coast route which is named after the naturalist, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival in Moray, World Sheepdog Trials in Tain and 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, Outdoor Orkney Festival and Tweedlove Bike Festival will receive funding for homecoming additions to their planned programmes for next year.

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.

"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 truly does offer something for everyone in every corner of the country."

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