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It's an explosion of colour, culture and cheer at the Byres Road Parade

It's an explosion of colour, culture and cheer at the Byres Road Parade

Get ready to get your samba on as the Byres Road parade spills into our streets for the West End Festival today.

Scotland's answer to Mardi Gras will be shimmying through the West End of Glasgow, bringing in a sunny vibe regardless of our weather forecast.

Last year's event saw thousands of revellers turn up for the spectacular event and it looks set to be the same turnout this time round.

The West End Festival celebrations kicked off last week (Sunday, June 1) at the Gibson Street Gala and despite the rain, locals and visitors had a fantastic time enjoying the activities, crafts and music on offer.

With this year's parade theme being ‘identity’, community groups across Glasgow have designed their own costumes that they will be wearing in the procession.

Liz Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival said: “We’ve got our sights firmly on parade day and we’re excited that there are around 500 participating this year in what will be a fabulous explosion of colour and sound.

“There will be craft and art stalls and a food and drinks area at Ashton Road car park, street performers and of course, there’s a plethora of fabulous shops, restaurants and bars in the West End to take advantage of."

With art and craft stalls, costumes, street performers and a food and drinks area, you definitely won't be bored at this year's celebrations.

Liz continues: “We’ve got hundreds of events in the programme over the next few weeks from music to dance, literature to kids activities and we’re delighted that so many of the events are free."

The parade will start at 3pm from the Botanic Gardens and head down Byres Road. It will then turn left along to Kelvingrove Art Gallery before heading down the Dumbarton Road steps.

Not only will it be a fantastic day for visitors but it is believed that local businesses will take around £1million revenue on parade day, with many attending the various shops, bars and restaurants that the west end has to offer.

With the Byres Road parade alone costing £50,000 to stage, the West End Festival receives funding from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland. The festival also relies on voluntary support from residents and businesses in the area.

Byres Road will be closed to transport until 8pm, Ashton Road car park until midnight and Vinicombe Street all day today.

Festival director, Michael Dale said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the parade on Byres Road, particularly the Byres Road Traders Association, who has committed to a three-year plan to assist with the road closure, licences, health and safety, policing, security and of course the clean up.”

Buses will be diverted from Queen Margaret Drive through Hyndland Road back to Dumbarton Road and access to the Western Infirmary will be from Dumbarton Road.

Both Highburgh Road and University Avenue will stay open and can be used as alternative routes though festival organisers recommend using the Subway to travel to the festival and will be running on usual hours.

Fingers crossed that the weather picks up but in the meantime, best don your best colourful waterproofs.

There's no charge to see the Byres Road Parade which will take place from 12pm-7pm.

Remember, the West End Festival is more than just the parade and there's over 400 other activities to take part in. Check out the full programme here for the fantastic range on offer until Sunday, June 29.

Cat Cubie

Is the West End Festival one of your summer highlights? Tweet us @STVGlasgow or find us on Facebook to let us know.

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