Irvine’s historic waterfront will shine brightly on St Andrew’s Day (30 November) as the Scottish Maritime Museum’s four-day Harbour Festival of Light event returns.
Event organiser the Scottish Maritime Museum has increased the number of ticketed performances of the Light, Fire and Aerial Art Spectacular at the heart of the festival, which has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme.
Other new additions to illumination, which has also been made possible through funding from North Ayrshire Council, BAE Systems, Caledonian MacBrayne, Booth Welsh and in-kind sponsorship from NPL Estates and Confida, include a Harbourside Food and Craft Fair.
Once again, illumination: Harbour Festival of Light will begin on St Andrew’s Day
with a free firework display over Irvine Harbour. The pyrotechnics on 30 November will mark Scotland’s national day and visitors to the ticketed Light, Fire and Aerial Art Spectacular at the Scottish Maritime Museum will enjoy a fire show in front of the A Listed Linthouse as well as historic vessels SY Carola
and puffer Spartan
lit up, light installations, a Vintage Bus Bar and the monumental story of shipbuilding projected across the façade.
Inside the glass-roofed ‘cathedral of engineering’, suspended from the original girders, Spinal Chord will perform gravity defying aerial acrobatics on rope silks and trapeze high above beautiful boats and awesome relics of maritime engineering. The illumination Light Trail will also twinkle from dusk to 10pm daily.
Light Trail highlights
Highlights of the Light Trail this year include:
- an interactive light sculpture by light artists Squidsoup and the three-metre high maquettes of the world’s largest equine sculptures, Andy Scott’s shimmering steel Kelpies
- ‘On the Tide’, Squidsoup’s mesmerising light installation of sparkling ‘kelp’ which will snake from the Harbourside out onto the River Irvine. Visitors will be able to direct the 1,000 multi-coloured beads on their phone or tablet
The Kelpie maquettes, which will be lit up on the Harbourside, are a tenth of the size of the towering Kelpies which mark the gateway into The Helix and Forth & Clyde Canal in Falkirk and Grangemouth.
A glittering programme
Visitors will also discover brightly lit historic vessels including the small Tall Ship La Malouine and illuminated buildings and maritime engineering along the waterfront. The Museum’s beautiful George Wyllie inspired Paper Boat will twinkle on the water.
David Mann, director of the Scottish Maritime Museum, said: ''We are thrilled to bring illumination: Harbour Festival of Light back to celebrate St Andrew’s Day once again and showcase Ayrshire and Arran as an exciting, year-round destination.
'Over 15,000 people came out to enjoy illumination last year. This year, we’ve an extra glittering programme lined up and again most events are free. It’s going to be a fabulous winter adventure and start to the festive season for people living in Ayrshire and travelling here from across Scotland and beyond.'
illumination Light, Fire and Aerial Art Spectacular tickets can be purchased via the website.