Time marches on for Bendigo's Scots Day Out festival


AFTER five years as a fixture in February’s events calendar, Bendigo’s annual Scots Day Out festival is on the move.

From next year, the Scottish cultural celebration will be held on the first Saturday of March, rather than in the early-to-mid February period.

Event director Chris Earle said the decision is designed to capitalise on March’s more congenial climate and encourage more people to attend.

“Our new date, three weeks further into the year when average temperatures are at least five degrees cooler, has the potential to attract even bigger crowds, more pipe bands and other Scottish performers,” he said.

“Scots Day Out is regarded as one of Australia’s premier Scottish celebrations and Rosalind Park a wonderful setting for the day’s activities, where people discover or rediscover their Scottish roots.

“The weather will be more like a splendid Scottish summer day, much more comfortable for performers and set the scene for even more people discovering their Scottish connections, experiencing the music and cuisine of Scotland and enjoy a free family day in the centre of Bendigo.”

The decision was made in consultation with promoters Golden City Pipe Band and various stakeholders, including the City of Greater Bendigo, following a review of the event’s first five years.

The council’s manager of major events, Terry Karamaloudis, said Scots Day Out had established itself as a significant event on the city’s calendar.

“Scottish clans are making Bendigo the venue for gatherings at Scots Day Out and other times of the year and our official tartan mascot Bendigo Mac is raising awareness of the city around the world,” he said.

“The new date on the first Saturday of March will assist in growing Scots Day Out as a major celebration in Bendigo of national and international interest.”