Pipe Bands and Pageantry Creates Huge Economic Boost for Annan

Annan Riding of the Marches, one of the oldest events of its kind in the world, takes place this year on July 2.

The Riding of the Marches encompasses a wonderful day’s entertainment and pageantry, with more than 100 horses Riding the Town Boundaries led by Cornet, Cornet Lass and Standard Bearer, and the annual Parade, which reaches Annan High Street at 1pm. The colourful celebrations will again be enhanced by the presence of more than 14 pipe bands, that will compete for the Riding of the Marches Championships throughout the day in their respective grades, at Annan Academy playing fields.

Dumfries and Galloway Council funding has helped the Riding of the Marches increase the number of pipe bands participating in Annan in recent years, and generate a greater economic impact from the event.

A Council funded survey in 2015 established that spending in the Annan area over the Riding of the Marches weekend exceeded £180,000. More than £120,000 of this financial boost is net additional spending in the regional economy – generated by visitors to the area. In fact in 2015 more than 28% of all visitors to the historic event were attending the Riding of the Marches at Annan for the first time.

Stuart Thompson, Convener of the Riding of the Marches said, “Our first priority is always to maintain the great traditions of the historic Ridings, and to ensure we keep the event going, as it has done almost continuously since 1538. The pipe band element of the day has always been much loved and I’m thrilled that Annan once again is the best place to visit in Dumfries and Galloway for live pipe band music. To have more than 250 pipers here on the 2 July will be very special.”

Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion said, “I want to pay tribute to the contribution the Annan Riding of the Marches Committee make to regional life. They do their utmost each year for the local community and have helped grow and develop a very special historic event. The Council has worked in partnership with the Riding of the Marches Committee since our Major Festivals and Events Strategy was adopted in late 2013 to grow the economic impacts of the event and extend its marketing, so it is welcome news indeed that so many new visitors are flocking to the Riding of the Marches and creating a cash boost for the town.”

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