Take the plunge and enjoy a splashing time at the canal festival

KIRKINTILLOCH will be making waves throughout Scotland and the UK later this month – when 25,000 people descend on the town for the annual canal festival.

Organisers promise that this year’s Kirkintilloch Canal Festival will be bigger and better than ever, with a week of events running from Monday, August 20, to Sunday, August 26.

The fun will kick-off on the Monday with a five-day ‘story week’ featuring exhibitions, stories, theatre and music in venues across the town.

Each evening canal trips featuring presentations and lectures will be leaving from Kirkintilloch Marina on the Forth and Clyde Canal Society’s ‘Voyager’ boat.

Saturday will include an afternoon of water and land based adventure activities for all the family around the marina, with live music, food and drink available from 5pm and a fireworks finale at 9.30pm.

Then it’s time for the main event - the eagerly anticipated ‘Gala Sunday’ with activities attracting visitors and tourists from across Scotland.

At the Marina there will be canal cruises, live music, street theatre, canoeing and music and performance.

Meanwhile the Cowgate will offer market stalls, arts, crafts, live music, vintage cars and bikes, re-enactment groups and the Auld Kirk Museum open day. There will also be a funfair at Barleybank, street theatre and games at the library.

In historic Peel Park there will be a Victorian garden party with garden games on the lawns, a performance by Kirkintilloch Brass Band, a carousel, and a Garden Tearoom offering a range of cakes and sweets for those wishing to while the day away on the lawns.

Strathclyde Police will also be involved, hosting a ‘coppers and canals’ event at the police station.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The historic canal in Kirkintilloch really is a hidden gem and what better way to celebrate all that it has to offer than host seven wonderful days of fun and entertainment for all the family.

“This year, we have gone all out to provide a programme which will entertain locals and visitors alike marking our status as the ‘Canal Capital of Scotland’.

“The festival aims to make the canal more accessible and is a great opportunity to get people out on the water. I’m certainly looking forward to a great event and I encourage everyone to join in and make the most of the celebrations to mark our history and heritage.”

For full details of the programme go to: www.kirkintillochcanalfestival.org

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