There will be fun, fireworks and a flotilla on the Forth as the Forth Road Bridge turns 50 this week.
Ten days of festival fun got under way yesterday (Thursday) to celebrate the bridge’s 50th birthday with thousands of people expected to take part in the Forth Bridges Festival.
The festival, a signature event in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 calendar, features over 30 events taking place on land and water with themes of Scottish food and drink, arts and crafts, history and heritage, and music and culture.
Highlights include Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch, a Flotilla on the Forth, the unveiling of the Guardian of the Bridges sculpture, a torchlight procession, bridge party and spectacular fireworks as the festival draws to a close on September 13.
Tomorrow (Saturday), over 500 people will dine from a menu created by Nick Nairn at Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch, accompanied by a wide range of entertainment, from a stunt cycling display to choirs and street entertainers.
The Flotilla on the Forth will see a multitude of crafts muster beneath the bridges.
The festival reaches its climax next Saturday, September 13, when thousands of revellers will enjoy an exciting evening of live music headlined by Big Country and special guests Bwani Junction at a unique bridge party and outdoor ceilidh.
As a focal point of the festivities, 2014 torch-bearers will form a kilometre-long ‘River of Fire’ across the Forth Road Bridge, before a spectacular fireworks finale set to music at 10.06pm.
Meanwhile the winners of the Forth Road Bridge National Song Competition have been chosen.
The judges – Bruce Findlay, Jim Gellatly, Chris Waite (FETA), Bwani Junction and Academy Of Music and Sound – chose Calum Baird, Falkirk; Craig Alan Hughs, Edinburgh; Frank O’Connell, Ayr; and Tommy Mackay, South Queensferry.
Each winner receive a Forth Road Bridge Tower trip and will perform their song at the Forth Bridge Live concert at the Rosebery Hall from 7.15pm next Friday, with Bwani Junction.
Tickets are still available for a number of events being staged during the festival. These include the lunch, the torchlight procession, the bridge party and the viewing gallery for the procession.
A full programme and event details are available on the festival website at www.forthbridgesfestival.com.