The artist’s town of Kirkcudbright is going the extra mile to mark World Parkinson’s Day next month. Across Scotland, more than 50 landmarks will light up in blue to mark the day and raise awareness of Parkinson’s.

In Kirkcudbright a number of locations, including the Kirkcudbright Galleries and the Soaperie Gardens will be lighting up in blue on 11 April. And there will be some incredible projections of art from artists including Sir Billy Connolly and Jack Vettriano at various sites including Maclellan Castle. In addition, Kirkcudbright Stones group will be painting rocks and stones with a blue theme to hide around the town for children (and adults) to find. Businesses are getting involved too with some shop windows turning blue for the day.

Three Scottish artists – Craig Campbell, Lynn Howarth and Margaret Rae will visit the town on the day to see some of their art being projected too.

Jan Mattison from Parkinson’s UK lives in Kirkcudbright and said: “I’m thrilled that the local community has taken World Parkinson’s Day to their hearts and is making such a huge effort to commemorate the day. Anyone who is in the town on the night is welcome to drop in to the Tolbooth Arts Centre for a chat and a cuppa from 6.30pm – 9pm. It’ll be a lovely informal gathering with an opportunity to chat with Parkinson’s professionals and mingle with our artists and local community. I want to thank Kirkcudbright Arts and Crafts Trail and the Rotary club for all their hard work.”
Colin Saul from the Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail said: “Kirkcudbright is happy to raise awareness of Parkinson’s Day by illuminating its iconic buildings in blue together with adding in a few surprises along the way. We are a small community but have a huge commitment to caring for everyone by being totally inclusive in our many activities, so we welcome everyone to join us for this uplifting evening.”

Around 12,400 people in Scotland have Parkinson’s – about 1 in 375 adults. Despite it being the second most prevalent neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s, public understanding of the impact of Parkinson’s remains low.

Annie Macleod, Director of Parkinson’s UK Scotland, says: “The perception that Parkinson’s is an inevitable part of growing old and is just a bit of shakiness couldn’t be wider of the mark. Parkinson’s can be brutal and has more than 40 recognised symptoms. It affects people of all ages, and typically has a massive impact on every aspect of someone’s life.
“That’s why on World Parkinson’s Day – Thursday 11 April – we are launching our biggest ever awareness campaign to highlight just how serious the condition is. We’re delighted that Kirkcudbright and so many places will be showing their support for the Parkinson’s community by lighting in blue for World Parkinson’s Day. We thank them all for their support. People with Parkinson’s and their families often feel isolated so it means a lot to the community to know that people care and are aware of the condition.”

Parkinson’s gets worse the longer people have it, and it is currently incurable. Parkinson’s UK is helping invest in pioneering research in Scotland and around the world to deliver better treatments and a cure.

This research relies on the support of charities like Parkinson’s UK. In turn, the charity is entirely dependent on the generosity of individuals and businesses. And to encourage people to get involved, Parkinson’s UK Scotland holds around 20 major events across the country each year.

The light up campaign has been led by volunteers who have secured support in communities across Scotland – to see where’s lighting up visit