A HISTORIC year of celebrations in Haddington is launched this weekend.

Haddington was named a Royal Burgh in 1318, with plans being developed in recent months to mark the 700th anniversary of the historic occasion.

A programme has already been drawn up for the next 12 months, which features everything from an outdoor lighting extravaganza to an archaeological dig, and a medieval fair to live music.

The project, which has involved a large number of community groups, is officially launched on Saturday afternoon by Provost John McMillan.

The Haddington resident said: “I’m really looking forward to it.

“It is an interesting launch – we have got the Bruce Charter being revealed, there is so much going on for children, and I hope everybody takes part in that.

“I’m not an expert on accordion and fiddle music but some of the names they have got I know are top, top class.

“I am looking forward to the talk on the reconstruction of Robert the Bruce’s face; I think it is amazing the speakers we have managed to get.”

Mr McMillan will unveil the town’s 1318 Bruce Charter and officially declare the event open at the John Gray Centre at noon.

Attentions then turns to St Mary’s Parish Church at 1.30pm when a presentation will be made by Dr Martin MacGregor, of the University of Glasgow, and Mark Roughley, Face Lab, Liverpool John Moores University, who created a digitally reconstructed image of the face of Robert the Bruce – who signed Haddington’s 1318 charter – almost 700 years after his death.

An accordion and fiddle celebration then takes place in Haddington Corn Exchange, with the Duncan Black Band, The Andy Kain Band, Burns Brothers, Marie Fielding, Jim Wilson and Stuart Davie.

Entertainment takes place from 2pm to 4.30pm, with free children’s activities at the John Gray Centre at the same time.

And the opening day is rounded off by Whisky Kiss: Ceilidh Redefined at the Corn Exchange.

Mr McMillan added: “It’s a great organising committee, with Ruth Fyfe and Fran Woodrow from the John Gray Centre right at the heart of it. Ideas are emerging all the time and it is a good time for people to be aware of all we have to offer.”

The councillor, who is also the council’s spokesman for tourism and economic development, was hoping that the events over the next 12 months would attract people from throughout the country to Haddington.

For more information on any of the events or ticket prices, go to haddington700.com