Special Events

There are several special occasions in the Festival that are parts of a true Orkney experience.

On Broad Street in Kirkwall, in front of St Magnus Cathedral, on the Saturday afternoon there’s the Vintage Rally, where you can see cars and engines and tractors covering the best part of a century of Orkney history, restored by the kind of skills and dedication that are part of an island way of life.

That same evening there’s the sight and sound of the pipes and drums there on the street, with Kirkwall City Pipe Band on their final parade of the season.

The following morning there’s the Sunday service in St Magnus Cathedral, with the sound of the choir and the organ rising up through the building, and the sight of the pillars and stonework. The service is shaped around a Festival theme, with all visitors warmly welcome.

VINTAGE RALLY

September 3 → 1:00 pm4:00 pm

It’s a great sight in front of the Cathedral, with cars that can range in time from a Model T Ford from 1915 to a new electric vehicle of today – and with over a hundred years of vintage vehicles, classic cars and tractors in between, and the sound of engines in action, and all beautifully restored. Street food from 12 noon.

KIRKWALL CITY PIPE BAND

September 3 → 7:30 pm8:00 pm

Kirkwall City Pipe Band with their final parade of the season.

SCIENCE FESTIVAL SERVICE

September 4 → 11:15 am12:30 pm

Conducted by Rev. Fraser Macnaughton, with the St Magnus Cathedral Choir. “Whether you come from north or south, east or west, whether you live here or are a visitor, are here for the first time, or are here regularly… you are welcome to our worship,” they say. There's an alternative online version as well.

SHACKLETON’S DRAM

September 7 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

Three cases of Highland malt whisky were discovered, frozen into the ice beneath Shackleton's base camp. Through careful analysis, its exact constituents were worked out, and the whisky recreated. Master brewer Ken Duncan tells the story, with polar historian Dr Maria Pia Casarini setting the scene.

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NEXT EVENTS ON

BRINGING THE LIGHT BACK

August 31 → 6:00 pm7:30 pm

WALK: MULL HEAD CIRCULAR

September 1 → 11:00 am3:00 pm

ENGINEERING THE FUTURE

September 1 → 11:30 am12:30 pm

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