This section gives details of special selected events taking place within Edinburgh and Glasgow and around the Central Belt this fortnight. Listin s are compiled by date. place and en event. Extra tme listings compiled by Brian Donaldson.



The Vimto Christmas and New Year Carnival SECC. Finnieston Quay. info: 2040123. Until Jan 18. 1.45—10.45pm. £1. Europe‘s biggest indoor festive funfair gets underway today for a month of thrills. spills. chills and anything else you can think of that rhymes with that lot. See photo caption.


30/20 Craft and Design Fair Assembly Rooms. George Street. 220 4349. until Sun 21 Dec. 10.30am—5.30pm. 60p (40p). Plenty of original pressie ideas here with the country‘s leading craftworkers displaying their wares in ceramics. textiles. glass. toys. pyrography. hatmaking. silk and lots. lots more. Most items are one-offs or very limited. with prices comparable to the High Street bigwigs.

Christmas Tree Sale Graffiti Venue. Mansfield Place Church. 557 8330. until Wed 24 Dec. 9am-9pm. Your chance to make the neighbours jealous by getting your hands on a Scottish or Norwegian tree while also giving to the Children lst charity. The foyer will be decorated with trees. candelabras and art works from leading Scottish artists. while a live fairy will be swooping down from heaven from time to time.

Maltman Tour Royal Mile Whiskies. opposite St Giles Cathedral. info: 624 7624. 7pm. £7.50 with two whiskies. £6 with one. In the wake of the recent international festival. Scotch Whisky

Connoisseur Tours proudly presents tutored nosings and tastings every Thursday. Friday. Saturday and Sunday until the end of the year. Your guide will let you in on the history and methods used to create the potent orangey stuff while you get tore in to the samples.

Original Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour The Beehive lnn. Grassmarket. info: 226 6665. 7.30pm. £6 (£5). A great excuse to educate yourself through alcohol as the tour follows in the footsteps of Rabbie. Sir Walter. Robert Louis and Irvine across the ale houses of the city. The tour is now running Fridays only.


Renfrew 600 Various venues. info: 0141 886 1997. Until Wed 31 Dec. The concluding moments to Renfrew‘s frenzy of events commemorating their big year is dominated by the Hogmanay celebrations at Renfrew Town Hall with live beats provided by the Renfrew Royal Burgh Pipe Band and ceilidh impresarios Na Seanachaidh.



The Big Issue Benefit Weekend Ramshorn Theatre. lngratn Street. 552 3489. until Sun 21 Dec. noon. £3 (£1.50). Kids stuff. ceilidhs and club sounds are on the menu with all proceeds going to The Big Issue in Scotland. See Folk and Kids listings.



Shine On Glasgow George Square. info: 553 1937. 2pm. The run-up to Glasgow‘s Christmas reaches its climax with festive tunes from the Glasgow Philharmonic Male Voice Choir. the Gay Men's Chorus and the Linwood Caledonian Pipes.

acts as

pumping rhythms of Drizabone.

72 THE LIST 19 Dec 1997—8 Jan 1998

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AVIEMORE MIDWINTER FESTIVAL The Big Top. Aviemore. info: 01479 810363. Sat 27-Tue 30 Dec. Various times and prices. If northern climes appeal to you this New Year, you could do a hell of a lot worse than payinga visa to The Bt Top in Aviemore to sample the delights of their first Midwmter Festiva . There is everything from non-animal circuses to Egyptian Belly Dancing workshops and a performance of Pinocchio from the Statc'ytellers Theatre Com any. Music plays a large part, naturall , with I

verse as Z deco an Cajun masters Boogalusa. new Celts t e Tartan Amoebas (a ove), ethnic/roots band MacUmba and the heart-

THE VIMTO CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR CARNIVAL SECC. Finnieston Quay, Glasgow, info: 204 0123. Until Jan 18. 1.45-10.45pm. £1. Those good people at Vimto are sponsoring this year’s Christmas and New Year Carnival so there will be lashings of the mixed-fruit liquid for the kids. As ever, the rides make the event what it is and new innovations include the Seastorm, based on a nautical theme. Old favourite the Wild Mouse, the 30ft high rollercoaster with its scary hairpin bends, is there. Look out too for the return of the Big Wheel, one of Europe's biggest travelling Ferris

Wheels. For a more relaxed environment, you can indulge in all t

e usual

sideshows and stalls or get your eyes down for bingo.



Aviemore Midwinter Festival The Big Top. Aviemore. info: 01479 810363. Until Tue 30 Dec. Various times and prices. More people are heading north in search of New Year delights. so this festival of theatre. belly dancing. music and so forth provides an alternative to the Central Belt mayhem. See photo caption.

SUNDAY 28 Edinburgh Futurama 97/98 Riddles Court. Lawnmarket. info: 443 7486. Until Thu 1 Jan. Sun—Wed 11am—5pm; Thu noon—5pm. Free (various prices for readings). If you want to know exactly what the next twelve months hold for you. this is the place to go. Readers versed in the ancient arts of divination. from aura reading to tarot cards. will be on hand and. should you be traumatised by their predictions. experts in Reflexology and Reiki will aid your recovery.


Edinburgh Edinburgh's Hogmanay Various venues. info: 473 1998. Until Thu 1 Jan.

10am. Various prices. Not only does Christmas stan earlier every year. so does Hogmanay. Yet this is no ordinary celebration billed as it is ‘The world's new year festival.‘ See Edinburgh‘s Hogmanay guide.



Glasgow's Hogmanay Merchant City. George Square. info: 553 1937. 9pm. 10pm. Free. Glasgow‘s contribution to the biggest hangover of the year is an across-the-board music-led affair with two stages in George Square and four in the Merchant City aiming to attract around 50.000 revellers. See feature. page 14.

WEDNESDAY 7 Edinburgh The Scottish Esoteric Network Holyrood Tavern. Holyrood Road. info: 225 9931. 8pm. Free. This group is designed to raise awareness of Paganism and Esoteric beliefs and to offer an alternative to mainstream spirituality Judaism. Christianity. lslam. that kind of thing. Meetings occur on the first Wednesday of each month while lectures are held on the third Wednesday at the Toolbooth Tavern. Canongate at 7.30pm.