Today, Sunday, 8 June, the West End Festival has once again pulled off a spectacular parade, with over 500 participants from across Glasgow. This is the second weekend of the festival which kicked off on Sunday, 1 June with local favourite, Gibson Street Gala.

This year’s parade theme, ‘Identity’, was interpreted by community groups and organisations from around Glasgow, in their costume designs which they made and wore for the vibrant parade procession. The scene took over Byres Road and the surrounding streets and finished off on the steps of the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. Tens of thousands of people attended this free event and watched and cheered as it passed.

Flavour of the parade:

  • Dance group from Shettleston
  • Depot Arts Children – octopus being carried on a float
  • Temple Shafton Youth Project had the largest piece in the parade – a giant number ‘10’ with skittle costumes
  • Turning point – Scottish themed, scaled version of the River Clyde setting

Street performers were also out on Byres Road, entertaining parade revellers as they waited for the parade to start.

Liz Scobie, chairman of the Festival said: “Scotland’s Mardi Gras is always a West End Festival highlight for so many people, as proved again in this our 19th year.  Our social media platforms have been buzzing with excitement and anticipation for weeks.  Everyone loves a party and today’s parade has showcased so much creativity, colour and wonderful rhythms. 

“It’s been a fabulous opportunity to kick-start what is going to be such a special summer for Glasgow and Scotland!”

“A big thanks to Michael, Noel, the volunteers and all the organisations we work with that contribute so much to ensure the success of Festival Sunday.”

“I also want to say a big thank you to the businesses that have helped fund parts of today – your support is crucial. A final thank you to our principal funders Big Lottery Celebrate, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council.”

Local businesses were thriving with the additional footfall and many local craft makers attended to sell their works at stalls. Festival organisers were delighted this year when a supporting relationship was confirmed with Byres Road Traders Association. A call was put out earlier in the spring for local traders to support this important day and ‘give something back’.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “The West End Festival’s parade is always a memorable occasion and today’s was the best ever.  The thousands of us who lined the route this afternoon saw fantastic colour and we enjoyed the amazing atmosphere of the parade.”

This weekend the Glasgow Mela also took place in the west end, in Kelvingrove Park. The parade participants and followers dispersed in front of the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery where many went on to enjoy the festivities of the Mela.

With over 400 events in the festival programme there’s still plenty of time to attend events across the west end, many of them are free. The festival ends on Sunday, 29 June.

Twitter: #WEF2014 @westendfest