St Andrew’s Day celebrations this Saturday

Leaping high . . . Children from the Ghillie Callum Club of Dunedin dance the fling at the 2017 St Andrew's Day celebrations. PHOTO: ODT FILES

The skirl of the pipes will fill the Octagon this Saturday, November 30, as the annual St Andrew’s Day celebrations bring Dunedin’s Scottish heritage to the fore.

Everything from have-a-go Highland Games events to playing a full set of bagpipes, speed porridge and haggis pie eating, and Highland dancing demonstrations will be part of the celebrations, which will run from 10am until about 3pm in the Octagon.

The event will go ahead, rain or shine.

For the full St Andrew’s Day experience, be in the Octagon at 10am to enjoy the opening of the celebrations, and wear some tartan to fly the flag for Scotland.

Following the stirring sight and sound of the City of Dunedin Pipe Band marching through the Octagon, revellers will be welcomed by Dunedin deputy mayor Christine Garey.

A wonderful line-up of live entertainment will feature throughout the day, including local artists such as Dunedin Harmony Chorus, Dunedin Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, McCatgut ‘n Steel, the John McGlashan pipe band, Ghillie Callum Club Dancers, Sounds NorEasterly community choir, The Two Grumpy Scotsmen, poet David Eggleton, piper Qwenton McKenzie and The Tangle.

Another highlight of the event will be a dramatic, captivating haggis ceremony, led by Ian Seatter, at 12.30pm.

The society is thrilled to have strongman Jayden Hill taking part in the St Andrew

He will be lifting the “Stones of Manhood”, as well as offering advice and tips on lifting and other strongman activities for those who are having a go.

Alongside the busy programme of performances, events, and activities, the St Andrewcelebrations will also offer the chance to sample a diverse range of food and drink.

The treats will include haggis balls, Scottish macaroons, oaty pancakes, haggis pies, shortbread, oatcakes and cheese, along with a special Emerson’s Scottish ale of the day Och Aye The Brew.

After a day of immersion in Scottish culture, the celebrations will conclude with lone piper Qwenton McKenzie, followed by a chance for everyone in the Octagon to join together and sing Flower of Scotland.

The St Andrew’s Day celebration relies on volunteers for its success, and the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society is looking for volunteers to help out.

If you are interested, please contact the society by email at or via its facebook page.

  • The Dunedin Edinburgh Sister City Society acknowledges and thanks Strawberry Sound for enabling it to carry out a high-quality event on the main stage within a canny budget.
  • The society also thanks the following businesses and organisations for their continued support: Harraways, Gardens New World, Leckies Butchery, Nairn’s Oatcakes, Whitestone Cheese, EmersonConfectionery, The Scottish Shop, OAR FM Dunedin, the Dunedin City Council, Mediaworks, the Caledonian Society and Bracken restaurant.

10am: Welcome, with City Of Dunedin Pipe Band
10.05am: Speeches and formalities, led by Deputy Mayor Christine Garey.
10.15-10.30am: City Of Dunedin Pipe Band
10.30-10.45am: McCatgut ’n Steel
10.50-11.05am: Dunedin Harmony Chorus
11.05-11.25am: The Ghillie Callum Dancers
11.25-11.40: Bob Scott’s Tangle
11.45-Noon: David Eggleton’s Kerosene Tin Can Ensemble
Noon-12.15pm: Harraway’s Speed Porridge Eating Contest
12.15-12.30pm: Dunedin Scottish Fiddle Orchestra
12.30-12.50pm: Haggis Ceremony led by Iain
12.50-1.05pm: Jock & Mitch The Two Grumpy Scotsman
1.05-1.20pm: Stones of Manhood demonstration, with Jayden Hill.
1.20-1.35pm: John McGlashan Pipe Band

1.35-1.50pm: Blackies Haggis Pie Eating Contest
1.50-2.05pm: Sounds Nor’Easterly Choir
2.05-2.15pm: Solo piper Qwenton McKenzie, followed by
all-in with Flower of Scotland

  • Highland Games junior activities from 10.30am, with the Caledonian Society.
  • Have a go at bagpipes and drums, at 11am.
  • Allie Simpson celtic storytelling.
  • Edinburgh Council room tours, with Neville Peat, at 11am and 1pm