Linlithgow Marches: Join in the virtual celebrations for 2021
In a normal year crowds would have been lining the streets of Linlithgow today for the town’s annual Marches celebrations.
However, for the second year in a row the Covid-19 pandemic has forced organisers to cancel the much anticipated events.
Despite being unable to check the town’s boundaries in the usual fashion with the parade through the streets, the focus of the day has turned online where locals – and those further afield – can feel a part of the day through Linlithgow’s Virtual Marches.
A series of videos, following the usual timing of events on the day, has been filmed in advance by organisers and scheduled to go live on the Linlithgow Marches and Deacons Court Facebook page, as well as on YouTube at the relevant time.
As always on the first Tuesday after the second Thursday in June, events begin early at 5am.
Already this morning there have been videos posted including the flutes and drums, a message from Provost Cunningham and some other well kent faces; the Reed Band; the piper and town drummer and a special breakfast with Clerk Ross Cunningham
At 11am – the time the procession would usually set off westwards along the High Street – viewers can celebrate with a look at past Marches and see messages from townsfolk for 2021.
In recent weeks, locals have been encouraged to get involved in the virtual event again this year by designing a float, decorating a bike or dressing up – and as part of the 11am video there’ll be a chance to see the entries.
Further videos are planned throughout the day, including the announcement of the winners of the virtual competitions and the checking of the eastern boundary in Blackness.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the Marches – virtual or not – if the day wasn’t ended at 5pm going three times round The Cross.
The Deacons Court also urged people to continue to put their flags up as if the Marches were actually happening – and many have done just that with bunting flying in gardens around the town.
In his final Marches message as Provost, shared online this year, John Cunningham said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to be the Provost of the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Linlithgow over the last four years.
"My term in office has been very different and difficult, particular over the last two terms during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Whilst we didn’t expect to be having another virtual Marches, the safety and well-being of the people of Linlithgow is paramount and I am sure we will all find ways to celebrate safely and with loved ones.
"This year has been another challenging experience however with restrictions slowly lifting, and the lights in the shops and pubs coming on, our town and community are coming together in support of each other to regain some normality.”
He added: “I hope you enjoy the virtual Marches safely, and I hope to see you all lining the streets, cheering as the bands play next year. It has been an honour and a pleasure. Safe Oot, Safe In, Long Live the Marches.”