All events are free, unless otherwise stated. Most paid-for ticket are “pass- out’, allowing you to take in the free event as well. Some event may already be sold out by time of publication. For up-to-the-minute information, call the Hogmanay-lnformation line on 0891 88 1996 (calls cost 39p per minute cheap rate, 49p at all other times).

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I ilogmanay Carnival Waterloo Place. 4—1 lpm. Go up and down and round and round as all the fun of the fair sets the Eastlind of Princes Street ablaze with coloured lights. Whether you want to be scared silly orjust fancy a laugh. children and adults will find something to their liking among these top rides and sideshows.

l r I The Food Fair Assembly R ms. George Street. 10am—6pm. Free. Now that Scottish cuisine is no longer a contradiction in terms. sample the best of a wide range of food from the country’s best known suppliers and manufacturers. Plenty of samples are on offer. and there's also a coffee shop for more substantial snacks. See panel.

I Museum of Childhood High Street. 10am-5pm. A unique collection that charts children at home. school and play over the centuries.

I Ice Rink Waverley Centre Plaza. Noon—9pm. Budding Torvill and Deans should get their skates on and get down to the roof of the Waverley Shopping Centre. where they can try to avoid falling down on Edinburgh‘s first open- air dry ice rink.

I The Tales Of Jemima Puddle-Duck Netherbow Theatre. High Street. I lam and 2.30pm. £3 (£2). Get ready for some quacking fun as ian Turbitt's Puppet Theatre bring Beatrix Potter’s much- loved story to life in a specially commissioned performance for Kids Hogmanay. Ages 5—8.

I Coach and Pony Rides Tron. High Street. Noon—5pm. Clip-clop up and

]‘ Jil,‘ ‘mgtu'

down the Royal Mile in old-fashioned style.

I Carousels Royal Mile. Noon—5pm. Beautifully restored carousels and their delicate melodies fill the Old Town with the sights and sounds of New Years past. I Magic Bob Bedlam Theatre. Forrest Road. Noon. £3.50. An hour-long show from one of Scotland's favourite children’s entertainers as he brings a touch of magic and comedy to the holiday period. Suitable for ages 4 +.

I The Happy Gang Bedlam Th‘Catre. Forrest Road. 2pm and 4pm. £3.50. An hour-long musical voyage around Scotland with the energetic young troupe as they take the audience on a search for Uncle Macbeth‘s prize hairy haggis. Never seen a haggis in the wild? Come along before Jock McGrumpy snatches them all. Suitable for ages 3 +.

I Ohosty Stories Tron Kirk. High Street. 4-6pm. Free. Spooks and ghouls to add an extra chill to the Scottish winter. Suitable for all ages. Advance booking advisable call Auld Reekie on 557


I Torchlight Procession Parliament Square. 8pm. Free. Meet up beside St Giles' Cathedral for one of the most spectacular events over the Hogrnanay period. Marching bands. pipes and drums. street performers and thousands of participant turn the Mound and Princes Street into a sea of light. Vouchers (£5) for torches are available in advance and can be exchanged on the night from 6pm onwards from the stewards in St Giles Street. Alternatively, buy your torch at the same time at Parliament Square. the Scandic Crown Hotel or Mound Square. Proceeds from sales go to the Max AM Help A Child Appeal and Scottish European Aid. The procession ends with a Fire Festival and the burning of the Scandic Crown Longboat on Calton Hill. I Beadiscovery Book Bus High Street. Noon-5pm. Climb on board and discover the magic world of the written word with Scotland's Book Campaign 95.

I liogmanay Club Gilded Balloon. Cowgate. lOpm—3am. £7.50 (£5). Dance into the wee hours to top local Dis. dance bands and performers at this all-new licenced club. Tonight's guests are the East Coast Project and Blackanised (with


All the fun of the fair at the Hogmanay Carnival

Black Bun has become something of an endangered species recently. Travellers returning from the frozen wastes of the Highlands (ie north of Perth) report isolated sightings of the fruity wee beast, but it seems to have been ousted by the ubiquitous tartan-clad shortie.

Fortunately, for those who intend to see in the bells in the relative comfort of the Central Belt, the Hogmanay victuals are shaping up to be a fair bit more substantial than the traditional choice of fruit cake or shortbread. llow that it is no longer a contradiction in terms to speak of Scottish cuisine, New Year revellers will have another option apart from the liquid lunch and the dipso dinner followed by the saline-drip supper. After criticisms last year that visitors had been lured to the capital only to find that it was practically impossible to get as much as a cup of tea between 5pm on Hogmanay and 9am two days later, steps have been taken to ensure that the street aren’t littered with the bodies of emaciated tourist when the party is over.

The powers that be have decided that it is time to demonstrate Scotland’s skill in the kitchen and highlight just how much our natural food resources have to offer. As always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and to this end


llaggls, Macsweens-style

there will be a two-day food fair entitled ‘Sample Scotland’ at the Assembly Rooms in George Street on Fri 29/Sat 30 December. Scotland’s top food producers, including haggis chieftains Macsweens, llowgate Cheese and Tods of Orkney, will be giving demonstrations of their art and inviting the public to sample the result.

On a more exclusive note, up to ZOO gourrnands will be invading Saltire Court on Saturday 30 for a three course tour de force of Scottish food prepared by Andrew iladford of the award-winning Atrium. At £50 a head, it’s not for everyone but then neither Is a haggis supper from the chipple at £1.80. Somewhere between the two extremes there are a number of restaurant dotted around the centre of town who are offering either a special Hogmanay menu or are staying open over the holiday period.

One final word of warning, the vile and unnatural habit of deep-frying Mars bars which started recently in Stonehaven appears to be moving south. Outbreaks have been reported in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Treat any deep-fried, battered object with suspicion and try it out on a friend before attempting to eat it yourself. (Jonathan Trew)

exclusive previews of their forthcoming album), with DJs Eh?Wun (Mo Wax). Joseph Malik (Blackanised). AJ. (Zulu Syndicate) and Fawaz.

I Hogmanay Carnival Waterloo Place. lOam-l lpm. See Thurs 28.


I Maisie Story Hour Netherbow Theatre. High Street. lpm. £3 (£2). Aileen Paterson reads from her books about the little tabby kitten who ventures around Morningside in her blue jersey and kilt. There's also an ongoing Maisie exhibition in the Netherbow. featuring scenes from the stories. Suitable for 4—9 years.

I Ezili Parliament Square. 7pm. Many European street theatre troupes offer grand and surreal spectacles on a scale rarely seen in this country. and France's Plasticiens Volants are no exception. Ezili is ‘the mother of all monsters'. and she‘s looking for somewhere to lay her eggs. The performance climaxes at Waverley Market at 8.15pm. Suitable for ages 8 +. but children should be accompanied as this show may distress those of a nervous dis sition. including animals.

I [Eng Glitter Princes Street Gardens. 7.30—9.45pm (approx). £l2/£10. C'mon. c‘mon. Get down to the gardens to be called into the presence of the leader as he brings a splash of Glam to the capital‘s party. Gary's full-scale arena shows are a

legend in their own primetime. and this one is being captured by the BBC for future broadcast. Gates open at 6.45pm. and you're advised to dress for the weather. Remember. it's an all-standing gig.

I Reel To Real Ceilidh Assembly Rooms. George Street. 8pm—midnight. £10. Traditional Scottish music. songs and dances play a vital role in anyone's Hogrnanay celebrations. so prepare to ‘Strip The Willow' and tackle a ‘Dashing White Sergeant' in the company of compere Jim Malcolm. singer and folklon'st Margaret Bennett and bothy

Playing live: Big Country