Thousands of people gathered across the country today to join in the celebrations marking the end of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.
The visually stunning events and festivals combined to make the biggest ever programme of events co-ordinated to mark St Andrew’s Day was showcased across Scotland with an estimated 200,000 people taking part. The spectacular programme featured more than 40 events across the country, many of them free.
The finale programme began on 26 November and reached its conclusion today.
The Homecoming finale and St Andrew’s Day celebrations have been taking place across the country, offering an inspirational programme of event featuring live music, ceilidh’s, artistic performances, fireworks and fun, including Saturday’s vibrant Homecoming Live! at the SECC in Glasgow.
As crowds turned out in force to enjoy the carnival atmosphere brought to Scotland by these events. Some of the main celebrations took place in Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire, East Lothian, Stirling and St Andrews.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Scotland’s Year of Homecoming has been a resounding success which has captured the imagination of people throughout the country and across the globe. During 2009 we invited everyone with links or an affinity for Scotland to come ‘home’ to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns and many of Scotland’s greatest contributions to the world.
“Over the year we have welcomed thousands of people to Scotland to take part in Homecoming and it has delivered real benefits to Scotland’s economy and tourism industry and is on track to exceed the target of £44 million worth of extra tourism revenue.
“More than 400 events have taken place to mark the event and I would like to thank everyone involved in making Homecoming 2009 such an incredible celebration of Scottish culture, innovation and heritage.”