South Ayrshire launches Scotland’s Winter Festival programme in Ayr

Robert Burns
Robert Burns

An exciting new programme of events has been planned in Ayr for January 2020 to celebrate Burns Night, as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

Burns on the Beach will headline the burns Hame Toun programme on Friday, January 24 from 7-10pm. The programme takes place from Wednesday 22 – Sunday 26 January as part of the annual Burns an’ a’ that! Festival.

Burns On the Beach is organised by South Ayrshire Council, and has received support through Scotland’s Winter Festivals. Burns On the Beach will take place at the pier end of Ayr beach.

Five unique sound and light installations will light up our coastal assets including illuminated Pier, The Watchful Boat, Aerial Light Show and Poetry Path (looped between 7-10pm). In addition, there will be a beach bonfire to create that cosy, winter beach vibe. This event will launch Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters in South Ayrshire.

Pyro Celtica will perform a Tribute Tae Tam at 7pm and 9pm and there will be a Poi performance at 8pm. Scottish street food will be on offer, including the brand new Brigston Scottie Dog with chilli jam or whisky sauce, Haggis Pakora and more! The evening will conclude with a special burning Burns finale to the sound of authentic Scottish tribal band Clanadonia at 9.30pm.

If you prefer a quieter event experience, then a selection of the light installations will be available to view Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January 7.00pm – 10.00pm, under the banner of Watchful Burns.

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will be offering some brand new 2020 events. Burns Gala Day will be held on Saturday 25 January from 10.00am – 4.00pm. This free family event, suitable for all ages, celebrates Burns Day with food and drink tastings, fun challenges, and live traditional music. The evening makes way for a Blazing Burns Night Spectacular with a ceilidh and choreographed fire show.

More information and tickets are available here

Our very own Ayrshire Bulls will be taking on The Southern Knights at home on Sunday 26 January in a Burns weekend ‘showdown’.

This makes for a fantastic family day out with a piper, themed food and post match entertainment from speaker Robbie Duncan.

For full details, visit the Ayr Rugby Club website

On Sunday 26 January, The Grain Exchange on Ayr High Street hosts ‘Tam’s Tech’, a free workshop where you can explore Burns through digital media and recreate your own Burns poem.

The winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Awards will be announced during this special weekend. With a record number of entries for 2020, this award is presented annually around the time of Robert Burns’ birthday to a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through self-sacrifice, selfless service, hands-on charitable or volunteer work, or other acts.

Rabbie comes back to offer dating advice at Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre at The Ghosting of Rabbie Burns on Tuesday 28 January. This production is sure to entertain, as it features the great poems and songs of Burns.

The Alexander Goudie Tam o’ Shanter Exhibition will run throughout the month at Rozelle House with guided tours running at 2pm each day. Why not pop in and try the fantastic Goudie jigsaw?

Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: “This programme demonstrates the Council’s commitment to celebrate Burns in an imaginative and modern way, to develop a variety of activities that recognise the contribution of Burns to Scottish culture, and bring communities together in a spirit of which Burns would approve.”

Gordon Smith, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Burns on the Beach as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals. Scotland provides the perfect stage to celebrate our national bard and this special event on Ayr beach will offer locals and visitors the chance to experience Burns Night in a picturesque setting as we welcome Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.”

Burns Hame Toun programme at a glance:

Wed 22 January

Winner of Robert Burns Humanitarian Award announced

Friday 24 January

Burns on the Beach 7.00pm - 10.00pm (Ayr Beach)

Saturday 25 January

Burns Gala day 10.00am - 4.00pm (Robert Burns Birthplace Museum)

A Blazing Burns Night Spectcular 7.00pm (Robert Burns Birthplace Musuem)

Watchful Burns 7.00pm - 10.00pm (Ayr Beach)

Sunday 26 January

Tam’s Tech 1.00pm - 4.00pm (Grain Exchange)

Ayrshire Bulls v Southern Knights Burns Day Special 1.00pm (Ayr Rugby Club)

Watchful Burns 7.00pm - 10.00pm (Ayr Beach)

Tuesday 28 January

The Ghosting of Rabbie Burns 7.30pm (Ayr Gaiety)

FREE Burns On the Beach Parking including coach parking is available at the nearby Cromwell Road carpark, Ayr KA7 1DY.

Overflow parking is available along parts of the esplanade or at the far end of the beach at Blackburn Carpark KA7 2XW