Events extravaganza for Edinburgh this June

Edinburgh is gearing up for a visitor bonanza with a series of spectacular, high profile events taking place in the Capital in the next few weeks.

The month will see Scotland's Capital take on a carnival atmosphere with a host of sporting, cultural and ceremonial events lighting up the calendar and providing a boost for city hotels, restaurants and shops.

Topping the bill is National Armed Forces Day (24-26 June), with up to 80,000 people expected to watch a series of spectacular Red Arrows displays, parades, concerts and military events over the three days.

June's events extravaganza kicks off on Monday with the Festival of Sport (6-19 June), while the Leith Festival from 10-19 June will offer over 100 community arts events in 50 venues with a one-mile radius from the heart of Leith.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival sweeps back into town for its 65th year from 15-26 June, offering a rich mix of international cinema and homegrown screen gems.

The three days of 24-26 June promise to be one of the most exciting long weekends in the Capital's history.

As well as National Armed Forces Day, residents and visitors will be spoilt for choice with entertainment and sporting thrills over the three day period:

For the first time, Edinburgh will host more than 50 teams for the Swamp Soccer World Cup at Hunter's Hall Park.

Some of the world's best players will demonstrate their prowess in the Touch World Cup.

US rockers Kings of Leon will delight fans at a sellout Murrayfield Stadium.

Families will have a grand day out at the Royal Highland Show 2011 at Ingliston.

Also packing in the fans that week are music legends Bon Jovi at Murrayfield and a series of world premieres at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

These include the award-winning Hell and Back Again, a harrowing account of the conflict in Afghanistan seen through the eyes of a US Marine severely injured on the frontline and his recovery at home.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion, said: "There's no doubt about it - Edinburgh is becoming synonymous with truly spectacular events and this coming month is bound to set the bar even higher. Time and again, we have delivered world class cultural, sporting and ceremonial events against arguably the most stunning background a city could wish for.

"June will see Edinburgh thronged with thousands upon thousand of people eager to experience the various festivities - the City looks forward very much to welcoming them here for what promises to be an unforgettable month."

Council Leader Jenny Dawe said: "This weekend promises to be one of the busiest in Edinburgh's history and I can't remember such a diverse range of exciting events taking place in the Capital.

"There's definitely something for everyone whether it's watching the Red Arrows flying over the Firth of Forth, rocking to the Kings of Leon or just taking in the spectacle of the Royal Highland Show.

"The city has won a reputation as one of the top events destinations in the world thanks to the success of such major occasions as the visit by Pope Benedict XVI and Edinburgh's Hogmanay. I would urge everyone to make a special effort to take in some of these wonderful events right on our doorstep."

The national Armed Forces Day event promises to be the biggest and best since the annual celebrations began in 2009.

Events will kick off in Leith on the afternoon of Friday 24 June, including tours of HMS Portland, various water-based displays in Leith Docks and marching pipe bands culminating in a full display by the Red Arrows over the Firth of Forth. Members of the public will also have the opportunity to try out Red Arrow and Tornado Jet flight simulators at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre.

On Armed Forces Day (Saturday 25 June), a parade of up to 2,000 serving personnel, veterans and cadets will march down the Royal Mile from the Castle Esplanade to Holyrood Park. The parade will end with a short ceremony of thanks and a fly past by the Red Arrows. This will be followed by a packed afternoon of events and entertainment for all the family in Holyrood Park, including parachute displays, a display of Armed Forces Vehicles,  concert by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, music and a Veterans' Village.

Sunday's events are being organised by the charity DecAid. The day kicks off with a Military Fitness Session in Holyrood Park, followed by a massed Pipes and Drums parade from the Castle Esplanade to Holyrood Park, and then by an afternoon of music and a Battle of the Bands.

Members of the Royal Family are expected to attend Edinburgh's Armed Forces Day celebrations, which are likely to be televised.

The Armed Forces Day national event is being staged thanks to funding from the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Ministry of Defence. The Council has also been successful in securing sponsorship from:

Finmeccanica - Principal Sponsor

BAE Systems - Principal Sponsor

Force Protection - Platinum Plus Sponsor

Royal British Legion - Platinum Sponsor

Compass Group - Platinum Sponsor

SELEX Galileo - Gold Sponsor

Visitors to the Capital this June will also be encouraged to make a beeline for the City Art Centre in Market Street, where the City's stunning collection of Scottish Art is currently on display over five floors.

For details of what's on in Edinburgh, check out www.eventsedinburgh.org.uk

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