Musselburgh Riding of the Marches 2016 is one of the most ancient ceremonies in the UK; although it is thought to date back to the 5th Century, it was first recorded in 1682. But, as the first Musselburgh RoM of the 21st Century, this year's festivities look forward to fresh changes, as well as celebrating its rich history.
The Town Champion (Neil Wilson), Turf Cutter (Iain Clark), Turf Cutter's Assistant (Fiona Grant-MacDonald), Squires (David Finlayson and Graham Bennet) and two Halberdiers (Allan Williams and Scott Robertson) will take part in the official Riding of the Marches ceremony, which is the central occasion in a week of celebration. This commemorates the marking of the ancient boundaries of the Burgh, and highlights the unique history and heritage of the Honest Toun of Musselburgh.
The party ride out under the close protection of the armour-clad Town Champion, and stop at 12 boundary stations around the town to cut a sod of turf and proclaim "it's a' oor ain!".
The ceremonial aspect of the week-long event - which runs between July 24-31 - also includes a huge procession, a pageant, an exhibition, a civic ball, a concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as various sporting events, and entertainment for young and old. The week will conclude with a spectacular Lumiere at the mouth of the River Esk and a huge fireworks display.
Most of the town's forthcoming big sporting events, fundraisers and entertainment in partnership with Riding of the Marches are part of the build-up to Marches week. Artists from Musselburgh are also making their mark, and street art and yarn bombing is popping up throughout the town. If you would like the Principals to visit your organisation, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will do their best to accommodate your request. We urge everyone to keep the week free and also to check on Facebook, our Blog or Twitter (@musselburgh2016) for all the up to date news and information.