It’s October, so we can start using the ‘C’ word now, right?
Edinburgh’s Christmas programme has been revealed and it promises to be bigger, better and more affordable than ever – especially for families and Edinburgh residents.
The Council has worked with event organisers, Underbelly, to ensure city residents get the best value for money this winter.
If you have an EH postcode, you will receive a 20 per cent discount on all shows, rides and events. There will also be special family prices available for most attractions – which Edinburgh residents can get on top of their 20% discount -plus new family attractions in East Princes Street Gardens for between £1 and £4.
The desire to offer value has been achieved without any compromise on quality – with the Starflyer, Big Wheel and Paradiso Spiegeltent all returning along with an expanded Santa Land and, the community opening event, Light Night on George Street.
Programme highlights include:
- Light Night on George Street returning on 23 November with 60 school and community groups confirmed to perform on a series of stages up and down George Street to the theme of ‘Christmas Songs and Carols’. Last year, over 26,000 people took to the streets to enjoy this community event
- A truly unique ice rink in St Andrew Square around the Melville Monument
- The Paradiso Speigletent returns with a programme of world class entertainment including Scotch and Soda, the internationally acclaimed circus show direct from sell out runs at the Sydney and Brisbane Festivals, Stickman, comedy superstar Al Murray for 3 nights only and Edinburgh’s favourite all male burlesque troupe, Briefs
- Santa Land in East Princes Street Gardens with the very successful Christmas Tree Maze, Santa Train and Santa’s Grotto, all seen in 2013, joined by a series of affordable family attractions priced between £1 and £4
- Other attractions in East Princes Street Gardens include the Big Wheel, the Star Flyer, the Ice Rink on the East Princes Street Gardens terrace and the double decker Carousel
Last year (Christomas 2013/14), over 387,000 tickets were sold for Edinburgh’s Christmas and 73 per cent of people from Edinburgh said that Edinburgh’s Christmas was the sole or an important reason to come to Edinburgh that day.
Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, Councillor Steve Cardownie, said: “Edinburgh is always a special city during winter and this year, the Capital is certainly the place to be to celebrate Christmas.
“Our festive programmes are the envy of the world. The line up this winter with Underbelly will be bring back some of the city’s classic attractions such as Santa Land – which will be bigger than ever before – and the spectacular Light Night on George Street which returns for its second year. Not only will the East Princes Street Gardens ice rink make a return, after receiving well over 30,000 visitors last Christmas, but a new bespoke ice rink in St Andrew Square will be opened for the very first time.
“I am especially pleased that after feedback from Edinburgh residents and a concerted decision to tailor the programme to suit even more local people, this year’s programme offers a big range of free events and a selection of great value attractions from as little as £1.
“Our Christmas events provide a great boost to the Edinburgh economy, and this year’s offering is set draw residents and visitors of all ages into the city centre.”
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam of Underbelly said: ”We’re delighted to be presenting Edinburgh’s Christmas for the second year. Last year we re-imagined the event and brought record breaking numbers of people to Edinburgh.
“We’re very excited about this year’s innovations, including the new ice rink in St Andrew Square around the Melville Monument; the expanded Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens with more affordable attractions; and the new family prices and the 20% EH residents’ discount across the board.
“We want this to be a Christmas for all of Edinburgh and we think there’s something for everyone – from Scotch & Soda in the Spiegeltent to our Stained Glass project where 24 Edinburgh primary schools will show off their creations in Princes Street Gardens. Our ambition is to make Edinburgh the best place to spend Christmas, whether you’re a resident or a visitor. It maybe early to say this, but we are wishing Edinburgh a “Happy Christmas”.