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General News 12 March 2024

Kelpies to be mane attraction as 10th anniversary celebrations revealed

One of Scotland’s top visitor attractions, The Helix, Home of The Kelpies, together with Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals, has announced plans for a special one-of-a-kind event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iconic sculptures, Kelpies 10, which will take place on Saturday 27 April 2024.

The world-renowned equine structures, which stand at 100ft tall and weigh more than 300 tonnes each and are situated between Falkirk and Grangemouth, were unveiled in 2014 at The Helix Park.

The Kelpies 10 anniversary event is set to be an incredible celebration of Falkirk’s heritage, with the involvement of many Clydesdale horses from across the country, to mark the breed’s significant contribution to Scotland’s agricultural and industrial heritage and the inspiration behind sculptor Andy Scott’s creation.

Scottish Canals commissioned Andy Scott to create The Kelpies, where they now stand in the Helix Park, on the canal link between the Forth & Clyde Canal and the River Carron. Since their launch, Helix Park has welcomed over seven million visitors from all over the world; The Kelpies play a huge role in contributing to a £85 million tourism spend in the Falkirk region annually.

The Kelpies 10 celebrations will begin at 10am with a host of free events suitable for all the family to enjoy and will be followed by the very first evening concert to take place on the site, headlined by up-and-coming Scottish singer-songwriter Callum Beattie and the world’s most famous bagpipe band, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who will be performing a set of their groundbreaking ‘Bagrock’, a fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/pop anthems.

Throughout the day, visitors can expect street theatre, circus performers, artists, face painting, community stalls, a local producer’s market, folk tales and songs from renowned Scottish storyteller James MacDonald Reid, a Clydesdale demo ring where the horses will demonstrate traditional skills, and a Unicorn Dance Party. Local community groups, such as Sing Forth Choir and pipe bands, will provide additional entertainment and the day will culminate in a huge family ceilidh under The Kelpies, with chart-topping ceilidh band, Whisky Kiss, complete with Oscar winning piper.

Gates open at 5pm for the evening event, which will be ticketed. After a screening of Walid Salhab’s ‘The Kelpies’ and a short anniversary film, the live music will kick off from 7pm, featuring award winning Scottish artists, a set from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and a fire show from Pyroceltica, inspired by Falkirk’s industrial past. The evening will culminate in a 60-minute set from the fast-rising Scottish star, Callum Beattie.

Falkirk Council Leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “No one could have predicted the impact these majestic sculptures would have attracting almost seven million visitors to the Helix Park since 2014.

“The Kelpies continue to attract visitors from all corners of the globe who come to marvel at and stand in the shadow of the largest equine sculptures in the world. It also brings a real sense of pride with our communities and the wider Helix Park provides an outstanding local place for our people to enjoy.  I’m sure many more will come to take part in and celebrate the 10th anniversary of these iconic landmarks with a programme of events that will have something for everyone to enjoy with activities for all the family culminating in the first live music concert to be held at the Helix Park.”

Scottish Canals’ Chief Executive Officer John Paterson said: “Scottish Canals had a vision to create a piece of art at the eastern gateway to Scotland’s historic Forth & Clyde Canal.

“The Kelpies pay homage to the working horses of Scotland which used to pull barges along Scotland’s canals and worked in fields in the area where they now stand. Now almost a decade on and these magnificent works of art are global waterways icons attracting thousands of visitors to Scotland each year.

“We look forward to celebrating 10 years of The Kelpies, a true celebration of collaborative working. Our magnificent Kelpies will be the big attraction on Saturday, April 27th, with events going on throughout the day for all ages to enjoy.

“Please join us in celebrating our remarkable structures as we look forward to the next 10 years as we continue to make better lives by water.”

Andy Scott, who is originally from Glasgow but now based in Los Angeles, America, said:

“The Kelpies stand testament to the incredible skills of a whole team of expert engineers, fabricators, lighting designers, landscape architects and many other disciplines from across the UK who were involved in the full-scale artworks’ creation.  I feel immensely proud of what we achieved with The Kelpies - how they’ve been taken to heart by the local people and how they've become cultural landmarks for Scotland.”

The Helix, originally created as a space for the communities in the Falkirk area to come together, was awarded five-star visitor attraction status by VisitScotland and won the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ at the 2023 Visit Scotland National Thistle Awards. Helix Park, which has a Green Tourism Gold award, is free for visitors, and offers significant amounts of green space and a wealth of things to do, including 27km of traffic free, wheelchair friendly, paths for walking, running, or cycling, an adventure zone playpark, splash play area and sensory play area. E-bikes are also available for hire on site. After exploring the Park, visitors can warm up in the Visitor Centre and take time to explore the gift shop. 

To find out more about the Kelpies 10 event and to book tickets for the evening event, head here.

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