St Ninian’s Day Parade – Edinburgh

The St Ninian’s Day Parade will mark the historic occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to Scotland and celebrates the first man to be named a Saint in Scotland, nearly 1600 years ago.

The parade will feature pipers and drummers from Scotland and further afield, who will lead the parade from Regent Road and along Princes Street. Pipe Bands will play ‘Highland Cathedral’ as Pope Benedict XVI travels past.

Our VIP’s will be nearly 1000 school pupils from St Ninian School’s around Scotland who will help turn Princes Street into a sea of blue. To add to the colour thousands of flags that will be given out to spectators along the route.

Over the last 1,600 years Scotland has had a remarkable history  and the St Ninian’s Parade will also be a fantastic opportunity for spectators and the media to meet and greet important characters from Scotlands past, including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox and Robert Burns and of course St Ninian himself.

As the World media focus on Scotland we want to bring to Scotland’s remarkable history to life and offer a huge welcome to everyone who would like to enjoy the St Ninian’s Day Parade which will take place on the 16 September.

Comment by Councillor Jenny Dawe, Leader of the Council:

“This is a superb opportunity for Edinburgh to be seen on the world stage and to showcase the city as an excellent host of major events. While many people overseas already appreciate Edinburgh’s qualities as a place in which to work, study and holiday, I hope that some of the millions watching the Pope’s arrival in the UK are encouraged to come and see our city for themselves. It is undoubtedly a significant visit and I’m sure that the city will, as usual, rise to the occasion.

Welcome Pope Benedict XVI

Spectators are invited to watch the parade and welcome Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland.

The St Ninian’s Day Parade will take place on Thursday the 16th September.

The parade will start at 11:00am from Regent Road and march along Princes Street. This is a free event and spectators are advised to arrive in plenty of time.

To this day Ninian is a saint held in common by all Scottish Christians and, indeed, by all Scots. That’s why the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, asked the question earlier this year – “Why don’t we resurrect the great festivities that used to surround St Ninian’s Day in this country? A grand Scottish spectacle to welcome Benedict XVI.” He wanted an event that is:

  • Joyous – creating a truly memorable day for all who attend.
  • Charitable – raising money for good causes, both at home and abroad.
  • Inclusive – welcoming to everybody regardless of religion.

The result is the St Ninian’s Day Parade! Up to a billion people around the world will be watching. Be part of it! You’re very welcome. See you in Edinburgh on the 16th of September!

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