Fun, Colour and Spectacle – the Making of a Burns Night Street Carnival
Watch live online as 2015 lanterns light up the streets of Dumfries for this year’s huge procession

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Huge Tattie-bogle scarecrows, giant fish and 2,015 lanterns will be among the interactive puppets, floats and other colourful features of the spectacular Burns Night carnival in Dumfries on Sunday.
Organisers gave a sneak preview today of some of the amazing puppets which community groups, schools and others have been creating for the past few months.
The carnival is one of the highlights of Big Burns Supper, a nine-day festival of music, comedy, theatre, cabaret, culture and fun. This year the carnival is taking Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and UNESCO’s 2015 Year of Light as its themes.
Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, will be travelling to Dumfries for the event and to meet the team that has created the carnival.

Graham Main talking last night at the 2015 festival launch
Graham Main talking last night at the 2015 festival launch

Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Artistic Director, said: “It’s a huge piece of work to create a carnival, but it’s great because so many people get involved. We have volunteers of all ages, schools, community groups and others. They spend months in planning and making the costumes, learning dances and getting everything to look just right.
“The lanterns will look brilliant and we will have around 2015 of them especially for the Year of Light. But really, nothing could be better than a food and drink theme for a carnival on Burns Night when people all round the world will be thinking about Scottish cooking as they tuck into haggis neeps and tatties.
“We are really looking forward to the event and welcoming people from all over Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and beyond to be part of a magical occasion. And we are delighted to be able to welcome Mr Yousaf to Dumfries to share in these fabulous celebrations.
“It’s also good news that anyone who can’t make it in person can see it live online.”
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: “The chosen themes of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and UNESCO’s Year of Light lend themselves to what will be a spectacular carnival. The Big Burns Supper’s national and international standing continues to grow thanks to the talented local team behind it and the people of Dumfries and Galloway. The event will be part of great final weekend to Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
“The crowds in Dumfries will be joined by Scots and Scots-at-heart from around the world on Sunday to celebrate one of our greatest ever sons, Robert Burns. Wherever you are and whoever you’re with, I hope you join in and celebrate Burns Night and his enduring legacy.”
The carnival has taken months of preparation with the organisers working closely with schools, community groups and many others to plan and create the costumes and the floats.
Here are a few statistics to give an idea of the size of the event and what it takes to make it look so special.
Making the costumes, lanterns and floats involved:
• 900m square of modelling foam1 a 1 a Dugals Friday Focus
• 100 metres squared of tissue paper
• 200m of polypipe tubing
• 100 square metres of metal foil
• 150 litres of glue
• 6 km of sticky tape
• 12 km of willow

There will be:
• 6 main floats
• 6 bands
• 432 specially made costumes from 20 community artists
• 2015 lanterns
• 4,000 participants in the parade

Here is a wee video of last years parade

Costumes will include a giant haggis, vegetables and tattie-bogle scarecrows, plus all sorts of creatures from the oceans.
The carnival starts at 5pm on Sunday, 25 January and will be led by a huge lantern which has been made in conjunction with Barnardo’s Scotland, which is Big Burns Supper’s partner charity.
Around 25% of the materials used in the carnival (for example a lot of cardboard and some of the costumes) are recycled and remodelled from last year. And each year BBS finds ways to reuse materials, for example by donating them to other arts projects.
BBS is a festival of contemporary and traditional culture and a huge public celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s national Bard, Robert Burns, in his beloved town of Dumfries. It is also part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government) and attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas.
The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.
Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.
The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, Holywood Trust and Awards for All. Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland’s outstanding natural larder.
To see the Burns Night carnival live online just go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQRxrNwr7lA

This year Big Burns Supper has teamed up with Barnardo’s Scotland as its first ever charity partner. Text BURNS to 70500 to donate £3 to Barnardo’s Scotland.

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