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The John Muir Festival 2014

Posted by Tracy on 03 Feb 2014
News and Events >>

The John Muir Festival Calendar

The Festival curtain-raiser will be a spectacular night-time outdoor arts event over two nights, 17 and 18 April in the new Helix Park near Falkirk, home to the monumental sculpture, The Kelpies.

First Minister, Alex Salmond, officially opens the new John Muir Way in Dunbar on 21 April, where visitors can also visit John Muir's Birthplace.

Rich with landmarks, views and fascinating history, the new coast-to-coast lowlands trail echoes John Muir's own person journey growing up in Dunbar beofre travelling to the west coast of Scotland to set sail for a remarkable life in America.

A variety of artists begin the 134 mile odyssey along the John Muir Way visiting selected hotspots daily. Ramblers, runners and cyclists will be invited to carry Muir-themed flags while smaller flags designed by local schoolchildren will be used to mark points of interest along the length of the John Muir Way. A gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes will provide fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings. A camera obscura will provide a new perspective on the surrounding landscape. There will be seed bombing with Scottish wild flowers. A stylised tree will be raised, with much ceremony at the launch and finale in tribute to Muir’s enduring love of giant sequoias. And in a quieter, more reflective artistic tribute, an American and a Scots poet will walk the length of the John Muir Way at their own unhurried pace, planting native seeds and reciting poetry along the way.  

On the morning of 26 April, the Festival will reach the end of the John Muir Way in Helensburgh on the same Clyde coast 11 year old Muir and his family sailed en route to a new life in America. Appropriately – for the founding father of the US National Parks  – a street ceilidh and firework Festival finale is planned at Scotland’s National Park at Loch Lomond in the evening of 26 April.

Why an arts festival for an environmentalist and conservationist? Well, John Muir was many things - explorer, geologist, botanist, inventor and farmer – but he could not have had such a lasting impact, had he not been such an eloquent, persuasive and lyrical writer. Without doubt, John Muir was a prose writer with a poet’s heart.


Full details of the programme will be published online on the John Muir Festival Website. 

Further information:

Martin Shannon, Communications Manager, UZ Arts.

Tel: 0771 450 4088 Email:




Last changed: 03 Feb 2014 at 2:49 PM

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