What’s On at the Musselburgh Festival

July 18th, 2019

Photo from Musselburgh Festival / Facebook

The annual Musselburgh Festival kicks off this weekend, and there are lots of events going on throughout the week. We’ve rounded up a few of the best events to help you enjoy this historic celebration of the local community.

The History of the Musselburgh Festival

In 1935 a group of young men who met in the Scout Hall on Hercus Loan first came up with the idea of a Festival in Musselburgh. They enjoyed the spirit of local patriotism that events like the Riding of the Marches created, so wanted to set up a special festival to celebrate the local community in Musselburgh.

The Honest Toun’s Association was then set up to organise the festival each long as the tradition continues today. The Association selects an Honest Lad and Honest Lass represent the town throughout the year.  The very first Musselburgh Festival was held in 1936, with James Arthur as the Honest Lad and Ina Vass as the Honest Lass.

The festival has been held every year since (with a wee break during World War Two), with lots of events and celebrations being held for locals of all ages making it the perfect family event!

What’s on in this year’s Musselburgh Festival?

With a jam packed timetable this year, here are a few of our favourite events coming up to look forward to.

Dog show – Saturday 20 July, 1pm – judging will be taking place in Lewisvale Park, so pop along to see Musselburgh’s finest pooches as they strut their stuff!

Kirkin Sunday – Sunday 21 July, 11am – a community ecumenical service will be held, with most churches in the area taking part, to officially mark the beginning of the festival and welcome the fun to come.

Crusaders’ Chase – Monday 22 July, 5.45pm – marks the traditional Crusaders’ Chase as the horses and their riders follow the route, why not go along and cheer them on?

Crusaders’ Chase Night Dance – Monday 22 July, 9.30pm – following the Chase, there is an informal supper dance in Eskmills Bowling Club which invites everyone along to join the celebrations.

Crusaders’ Junior Ride Out – Tuesday 23 July, 6pm – there will be a junior chase for those riders unable to take part in Monday’s race, allowing youngsters to take centre stage and show off their riding skills.

Family Treasure Hunt – Wednesday 24 July, 10.30am – at Lewisvale Park there will be a treasure hunt on Wednesday morning. Teams must be registered prior to the date, so sign up now!

Presentation Evening – Wednesday 24 July, 7pm – a celebration of the Honest Lad and Honest Lass with presentations from local businesses and organisations.

Festival Concert – Thursday 25 July – the much-loved festival concert with a wide variety of entertainment including singers, dancers and musical groups. With tickets available from the Brunton Theatre this is definitely not to missed!

Fancy Dress Parade – Friday 26 July, 6.30pm – Pinkie Road hosts the Musselburgh Festival Parade. With floats and walkers alike, this is a fun day out for the family and an amazing spectacle bursting with fun.

Festival Day – Saturday 27 July, 9am – marks the height of the festival, with the riders departing from Pinkie Pillars at 9am make sure not to miss it!

Festival Ball – Saturday 27 July, 7pm – end the festival in style at the fabulous Festival Ball in the Brunton Hall. Guaranteed to be a fun night drawing celebration season in Musselburgh to a close.

For more information about the Musselburgh Festival, please visit