EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- An all-star concert to herald the opening of the Ryder Cup, a huge flotilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Europe's biggest brass band festival and a thrilling re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn are just some of the spectacular events that will form Scotland's 2014 Year of Homecoming.
The first phase of the year-long program of events was unveiled in North America this week during Scotland Week to consumers as well as key media and travel trade audiences in the US and Canada.
Around 100 events were unveiled at the launch, with hundreds more expected to be unveiled over the next few months. The five themes for Homecoming 2014 - active, food and drink, creative, natural and ancestry are all represented and visitors can look forward to brand new events such as the John Muir Festival in East Lothian to herald the opening of the John Muir coast to coast route and a spectacular Ryder Cup Opening Concert, as well as many existing events, including Hogmanay, Edinburgh Festivals and the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
With around 50 million people around the world claiming Scottish heritage, diaspora and clan-related events form a key part of Homecoming. These include around 30 events, including the celebrations to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the Aboyne Highland Games, the Inverness Highland Meeting 2014, the 10th Clan Munro International Gathering, the Dunfermline Bruce Festival and Piping Live!.
First Minister, Alex Salmond said:
"Scotland is preparing to welcome the world during our second Year of Homecoming in 2014. Next year, people from all across the globe with Scottish connections – and those without - will come to our country to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy the huge programme of Homecoming Scotland 2014 events, offering something for everyone in every corner of the country. There really couldn't be a better time to plan a trip to Scotland and join in the fun."
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:
"With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the eyes of the world will be firmly on Scotland in 2014. Next year's Homecoming will position our country as dynamic and creative with a rich history and culture. The exceptional events unveiled this week will celebrate everything that is great about Scotland and will ensure that the world will receive the most spectacular of welcomes in 2014."
A full list of Homecoming 2014 events is available and further events will be added during 2013 and 2014. Up-to-date Homecoming information can be found at www.homecomingscotland.com