City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Festivals' Cavalcade


By edg - Posted on 22 July 2012

Chinese troupe
Event details
Venue: 
Holyrood Park
Telephone (info): 
07900 806772

The Cavalcade was a free event held at the Edinburgh Festival for almost thirty years. It would see performers from all the Edinburgh Festivals roll through Princes Street in the city centre in an annual procession at the beginning of August.

In 2009 and 2010, The Cavalcade moved to Holyrood Park between Holyrood Palace and Meadowbank, due to work being done on the Edinburgh Trams in Princes Street. In early 2011, Cavalcade promoter David Todd quit his role, reportedly unhappy at the move away from Princes Street. After the termination of The Cavalcade, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival initiated the Festival Carnival, the first of which took place in July 2012.

Cavalcade 2010 information

The Festival Cavalcade is a free event, showcasing many of the shows at Edinburgh's Festivals and local community groups. The Cavalcade usually is led by 100 motorcycles, followed by the entire cast of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and over 3,000 participants from Edinburgh's various Festivals, Fringe shows, Community Groups, Commercial floats and bands from all over the world.

Over 175,000 spectators typically crowd into the streets (or Holyrood park) for the event.

The Cavalcade first took place in 1976. It is funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and operated in association with Historic Scotland.

Holyrood Park Cavalcade Route

The hour-long Calvalcade starts at 2pm at the Holyrood Park Road entrance (by the Commonwealth Pool) and travels north and then east along The Queen's Drive, past Our Dynamic Earth, the Scottish Parliament and Palace of Holyrood House, finishing at the Meadowbank Terrace entrance. There's informal performances by Fringe and community groups in the park between 12 noon and 4pm.

Road closures and car parking

On Sundays, the roads in Holyrood Park are closed as standard, so the Cavalcade will cause minimal disruption to the city. Spectators can arrive on foot at any of the five main entrances – Holyrood Park Road, Holyrood Gait, Horse Wynd, Meadowbank Terrace and Old Church Lane which are all near bus services. Cars with Disabled Badges will be the only vehicles allowed in the Park.

Princes Street Calvacade Route

The Calvalcade was expected to be back to its normal route by 2010, but remains in Holyrood Park this year "owing to uncertainty about access to the whole route due to ongoing tram works".

With the traditional route a motorised cavalcade sets off from Market Street near Waverley Station at 2.30pm. The route goes over Waverley Bridge, along Princes Street into Lothian Road and finishes at the end of Castle Terrace. There is grandstand seating on the North Side of Princes Street.