I was in Corfu (BBQ’ing a baby pig no less) on the West End Festival Parade Day. As it is such a great event, and a huge part of Glasgow’s summer calendar, I did not want to miss out so I asked Nicola & Lindsay from Cakehounds to cover it for me. This is what they thought of this years event…
Glasgow’s West End Festival kicked off our unofficial start of summer with the its 19th annual Parade Day on Sunday 8th of June. Hoping for sunshine but preparing for all seasons, we packed our sunglasses and cagoules and headed off to join the fun.
We’ve been to the parade before, but this was our first in our new-found blogger capacity, so we were keen to explore and see as much of the action as we could – plus it gave us an excuse to try more of the food and drinks that were on offer. Thankfully we escaped the one huge downpour while we were en route, and the rest of the day was sunshine-filled, perfectly matching the atmosphere in the West End. Byres Road was buzzing, and filled with families, dogs, children and performers, and it seemed like the whole city had turned out to witness the parade.
After a quick drink in the Ubiquitous Chip, we made our way round Ashton Lane and up Byres Road, taking in the performers, musicians and street stalls that covered the roads. The smell of street food from the local cafes and restaurants was mouth-watering, and we knew we were going to have a tough decision later when it came to where to eat. We stopped to enjoy the table tennis at Hillhead Book Club and treated ourselves to a glass of bubbly from Booly Mardy’s pop up bar before finding a spot on Byres Road to watch the parade.
The 500-strong parade kicked off at 3pm, and it was a riot of colour and noise – we could barely take photos fast enough! Based on the theme of Identity this year, the community groups and organisations involved were dressed in everything from bellydancer costumes to rollerskates. Some of our highlights included Sambayabamba, the Glasgow Steampunk Society, cabaret dancers, aliens, giant Irn Bru cans and an amazing Chinese Dragon. The energy was fantastic and we were only sorry when it was over and continued on down Byres Road, followed by a huge crowd of spectators eager to join in.
We took the opportunity for some well-earned sustenance, and after a careful scout out of the surrounding food stalls, we decided upon Smoak in Ashton Lane. We both opted for the 12hr smoked pulled pork in a brioche bun with slaw, onion and gherkins. At £5, it was worth every single bite – we were glad we passed by the burger vans and waited for this! After that it was off to Butterfly and Pig West to end our day with a couple of cocktails – all that parade action was thirsty work, after all…
You can see Nicola & Lindsay’s tales on Cakehounds here. Recent posts include a visit to Three Sisters Bake (I really want to go), a Glasgow cocktail tour and a recipe for strawberry daiquiri cupcakes.