South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine will next week lead a debate celebrating the 2014 Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries.

Members will debate Ms McAlpine’s motion congratulating festival organisers – Graham Main, Creative Scotland, Homecoming Scotland, Winter Festival Burns Night, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council on the diverse programme of music, carnival, cabaret and theatre.

Ms McAlpine has supported the festival – which will take place in Dumfries between the 24 and 26 January – since its establishment in 2012, as it has grown to become the biggest Burns Night celebration in the world.

This year the varied programme of entertainment will feature international as well as local talent including Big Country and Cammy Black from Dumfries and Galloway, with comedy from stand-up Fred Macaulay.

The Homecoming Carnival on Burns Night itself will involve 2,000 people and be lit by up to 1,000 lanterns.

Commenting Ms McAlpine said:

“I have pushed the Big Burns Supper from my earliest days in parliament as its potential was clear from the outset.

“The festival has helped to establish Dumfries as one of the most creative places in Scotland and It is fantastic to see it going from strength to strength.

“The success of the young festival, which is financially supported by Scottish Government agencies, is a great credit to the talented local team behind it and the people of Dumfries and Galloway. This year’s Homecoming programme promises to be the most exciting yet.”

Festival Director Graham Main said:

“This year’s Big Burns supper will be one of the first major events of the 2014 Year of Homecoming and offers three days of fabulous entertainment which celebrate the best of Scotland’s traditional and contemporary culture.


“The support we have had from the community, from audiences, performers, from all the organisations which are working so hard to make this year’s event a success has been fabulous.


“We hope that Burns himself would be delighted that the town which he loved and where he lived and worked, was holding a three-day festival inspired by his values and his passion for all the things which bring joy to life.”

Ms McAlpine will also use the debate to highlight and support Dumfries’ bid for the 2014 Creative Place Award.

The town was shortlisted for the coveted award after a joint bid was led by Big Burns Supper, The Stove and Electric Theatre Workshop to attract investment of £150,000 to the town to support the development of a Creative Place through a year-long celebration of Creativity to help support Dumfries town centre.

She said:


“The bid has been developed by the arts organisations independently, which mirrors the trend that has been happening in Dumfries over the last three years.   Artists and their Organisations are leading the way in the regeneration of place, community and identity.


“I will be doing everything I can to support the bid, including using next week’s debate to highlight Dumfries as Scotland’s vibrant southern capital.”


The debate will take place in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday the 22nd of January.