Happy birthday, Kirkintilloch!

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GET ready for a very special birthday - Kirkintilloch is 800 this year and local residents have been urged to join in the fun.

This year sees the town celebrate its 800th anniversary of becoming a Barony Burgh in 1211.

To mark the historic milestone a packed programme of events has been arranged throughout the coming months by East Dunbartonshire Council and a host of local organisations and groups.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Eight hundred years is a pretty impressive milestone and the events taking place in the coming months are a chance for local people and visitors to find out more about this historic burgh and how it has developed since the signing of the charter.”

The Kirkinitlloch 800 celebrations kicked-off earlier this month with Local History Week.

Councillor Geekie said: “The next major event in our celebration calendar is the Kirkintilloch 800 Showcase, which will take place on Saturday, April 30, at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre. This will be a showcase of dance, music and the history of the town, with stalls and exhibitions from a range of local organisations and groups.”

Other events planned to celebrate the 800th anniversary include:

* Kirkintilloch Gala Week in June, organised by the community council

* Kirkintilloch in the Street, organised by G66+Live on June 24.

* Kirkintilloch Canal Festival on August 28 (and throughout the preceding week)

* Kirkintilloch 800 Finale Weekend, October 1-2, to tie in with the signing of the burgh charter

* Canal trips

* Heritage and history talks

These are just some of the events planned to mark the anniversary.

A programme is currently being printed and will be available from council offices, Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre, William Patrick Library and other key venues.

A Kirkintilloch 800 website has also been created with full details of all the events and activities: www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/Kirkintilloch800

Councillor Geekie said: “The Kirkintilloch 800 celebrations are for the whole community.We have public events, some fantastic activities and projects taking place throughout our local schools, and a range of sporting challenges and presentations planned.”

She added: “It would be great to see as many people as possible at these celebratory events, which will be a great chance to find out more about our wonderful town.”