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See Edinburgh's Grassmarket In A New Light This Christmas

Grassmarket Lantern parade and bespoke artwork to welcome new look - Shops open late and 10% charity donation

An atmospheric lantern parade by primary school pupils, a performance by St Thomas Gaelic Choir and an abundance of festive lights will bring Christmas cheer to Edinburgh's Grassmarket on 4 December.

Traders will open late for convenient and stress-free Christmas shopping and a number have pledged to donate 10% of the night's takings to Radio Forth's Cash for Kids appeal. Two Radio Forth DJs will also be entertaining visitors on the night.

The fun starts at 18.00, when local primary school children will depart on a lantern parade leading from The Lot at the Grassmarket's West End along the length of the main square and then to the Christmas tree, which will be lit by local resident Ella Gordon.

Children from Sciennes and Tollcross Primary Schools are creating their own lanterns with the help of local artist Kate MacKay, who has also been commissioned by the Grassmarket Area Traders Association (GATA) to create two centre pieces for the main square to celebrate the completion of the £5m redevelopment project.

GATA chairman Jos Bastiaensen said: "we're looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the Grassmarket to remind of the fantastic range of shopping, dining and cultural events.

"Christmas to us is all about giving and we hope that we can raise a sizeable donation for Cash for Kids on the night by giving 10% of our takings to the charity.

"We have also decided to celebrate the new look of the Grassmarket with a recently commissioned centre piece from Edinburgh-based Kate MacKay which will be unveiled on the night."

The Grassmarket will not only sparkle over the Christmas period. A new creative lighting strategy, commissioned by the City of Edinburgh Council as part of the £5m redevelopment project, will enhance points of interest such as the Flodden Wall, the Covenanters Memorial and the Gallows.

Further information on the Grassmarket can be found on

Image courtesy of Simon Williams

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