Month of festival fun set to kick off

THE entertainment kicks off in style tomorrow for the start of this year's West End Festival.

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The West End Festival kicks off this weekend
The West End Festival kicks off this weekend

The Gibson Street Gala celebrates its 10th anniversary with live music, stalls, children's entertainment, art and design.

There is live music in the backcourt of Gibson Street, Otago Street and Westbank Quadrant and stalls with everything from quirky buys to food, all the way to Eldon Street Bridge.

The festival's 2014 programme features 400 events in 80 venues across the West End between tomorrow and June 29.

The highlight is the Mardi Gras Parade on Sunday, June 8, which will be snaking its way down Byres Road with 500 dancers, bands and giant floats taking part.

Get there early to see the spectacle with crowds of tens of thousands expected for the colourful extravaganza that is the big draw of the festival.

The parade leaves the Botanic Gardens at 3pm, and ends at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum at 4.15pm.

"It just takes some music and dance, some street food and a little bit of sunshine to make Parade Day one of the happiest days of the year," said Liz Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival board.

"The atmosphere is always relaxed and good-natured as the whole community spills out on to Byres Road meeting friends, filling the parks and playing with their children.

"This year is extra special because of the Commonwealth Games, the Mardi Gras Parade day party provides the perfect start to an unforgettable summer."

The Cottier Chamber Project, which has been running since 2011, takes place from June 6-20 and includes literature, theatre and visual art.

Among this year's event are Footprints, Daniel's Beard Winds and Red Note.

This year the West End Festival welcomes a new addition to its programme, The Cottier Dance Project.

From June 23-27, the dance strand will host screenings of archive ballet footage and Shall We Dance? at the Grosvenor and choreography showcase Watch This Space at Cottiers Theatre.

There is comedy at The Stand, well as events for all the family.

Ketchup in Ashton Lane will host a World Cup eating challenge and children's author Nick Sharratt will be at Hillhead Library.

Many of the events are free, including a new writer showcase, a Black Wolf beer tasting session, pub quizzes and talks.

angela.mcmanus@eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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