The Kate Kennedy Procession 2k17 Rides Forth

Ameer Chughtai observes the historic tradition.

On a beautiful April afternoon, the Kate Kennedy Club hosted their procession, the famed St Andrean tradition, featuring an eclectic mix of traditional clothing and historical references to the town fabled past.

This year’s event also marked the 91st anniversary of the event, with its origins dating back to the middle of the 16th century. As well as holding the title of Scotland’s oldest historical pageant, the procession was originally conceived as an ode to Lady Katherine Kennedy. The much-adored Lady is played by a first-year student, whose identity is kept a closely guarded secret until the morning of the procession itself.

The path of the ceremony brought it from its start outside at St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street, through Union Street to Market, eventually turning to South via Bell Street and bringing it back to its original starting point; allowing the entire town to witness the full extent of the parade.

The event was done on a grandiose scale, including horse-drawn carriages, bagpipers in full tartan, and a choir. The event participants were also dressed in full regalia, with some wearing traditional red robes, historical dresses, and even a few horse riders dressed in a full suit of armour. Furthermore, the procession included a large array of shields, representing differing periods within St Andrews’ history. These included a Jacobite flag, one of Colonial Canada, and the familiar crest of St Salvator.

The procession showcases the history of the town and the university, including famed residents and alumni. These include the original St Andrew, wearing the Hellenic cross upon which he suffered; in addition to this, there included Mary Queen of Scots, J.S Mill, Rudyard Kipling, and the more recent John Cleese and Arnold Palmer.

Lastly, the Kate Kennedy Club sold “College Echoes,” a rough guide and list of the events that unfolded throughout the day. The proceeds of these sales were donated to local Fife Charities, including Home-Start Fife, Children First, and Worldwide Cancer Research.

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