Counting down to Tartan Day events

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With just a couple of weeks to go until the Tartan Day Scotland celebrations kick-off across Angus, local communities, organisations and businesses are putting the finishing touches to their Tartan Day events.

With over 50 Tartan Day Scotland events happening across Angus from March 30 to April 8, Angus leads the way in the Tartan Day Scotland celebrations, which are sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.

“Tartan Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the very best of our county to the people of Angus and beyond,” said Provost Ruth Leslie Melville. (pictured).

“As always, the calibre of the events is outstanding and I’m looking forward to attending as many as possible, both in my capacity as provost and as a grandmother.”

The Tartan Day programme is packed full of events, including children’s activities, competitions, film screenings, comedy nights and special menus.

For example, on Friday, March 30, lovers of good food will be able to sample a variety of gourmet delights at the Tartan Day Supper at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath (tickets £35 each).

“Guests at the Tartan Day Supper will be able to sample delicious, gourmet dishes, along with fine wines and Scottish music,” said Rebecca Westguard of Hospitalfield House.

On the same evening, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will hold a Tartan Day Dance in the Reid Hall, Forfar (tickets £8, including supper).

Or, for those who prefer more sedate entertainment, a classic Scottish film will be screened at the Tartan Film Makers evening at Café Amor in Arbroath.

If you have a dog, don’t miss Carnoustie’s Canine Capers Tartan Dog Walk on Sunday, April 1.

This one hour walk will start and finish at Wallace Veterinary Centre, with refreshments available at the end of the walk.

Free Wullie at Monikie Country Park will be another open air Tartan Day activity on April 1 – and it’s not for the faint-hearted!

For the entry fee of £10 (£5 for those wearing traditional Scottish dress), participants will be able to climb the vertigo-inducing tower, descend the ’leap of faith’ and then cross the moat via a 160 metre zipline!

At the opposite side of the county, the April 1 Peregrine Watch, which will be led by Angus Glens Rangers, will provide a rare opportunity to witness peregrines building their nests in the rocky crags towering above Glen Doll.

“There are several peregrine nesting sites within two miles of the Ranger Base so we know where to go for the best chance to see these fabulous birds of prey in action,” said Countryside Ranger Neil Lowther.

The Peregrine Watch is free but booking is essential - call 01575 550233 to book.

The Scots are famed for their debating skills and these talents will be highlighted at the Speaking of Scotland debate in Forfar’s Council Chambers on the evening of Tuesday, April 3.

Arts and crafts is another area where the Scots often gain acclaim and the Tartan Day Craft Fair on Wednesday, April 4 at Carnoustie Golf Hotel will showcase some of the very best of local craft work.

History will take centre stage at 1.20 pm on April 6 when the 1320 Signing of the Declaration of Arbroath will be re-enacted at the entrance to Arbroath Abbey by Robert The Bruce and his nobles, courtesy of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes.

“The Signing of the Declaration of Arbroath is the reason Tartan Day is celebrated throughout the world on April 6,” said Bill Smith of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes. “Watching the court of Robert The Bruce arrive at Arbroath Abbey certainly brings Scotland’s history to life.”

The Tartan Parade will take place along Carnoustie High Street on Saturday, April 7. Kathleen Crowe of Carnoustie Business Association revealed that Carnoustie & District Pipe Band will lead the way, followed by tartan-clad motorcyclists from Carnoustie Motorcycle Club. “

After the magnificent pipes and drums will come the roar of these mighty motorbikes,” said Kathleen, who explained that the parade will start at Fox Street and finish at the Phillip Hall, where the Tartan Food and Craft Market will be taking place.

Thanks to these events and the many other Tartan Day Scotland events, including the Tartan Day Angus Photography competition, Tartan Day Scotland 2012 is going to be a week to remember for everyone in Angus!

For more information about all the Tartan Day events, and the ‘My Angus’ Photographic Competition, pick up The Tartan Day Angus Events Guide and competition leaflet from leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus or visit www.tartandayscotland.com.