Stirling sparkles in the sun for Open Streets 2023

Stirling city centre was a bustling throng of fun and activity as residents and visitors celebrated Open Streets 2023.

A troupe of dancers leap in the air as they celebrate the success of Open Streets
What a feeling....a flashmob from Stirling's Dance Connection entertained the crowds.

Thousands of people took advantage of the glorious spring sunshine to enjoy a packed programme of family-friendly activities at the free event on Saturday (April 22), which also marked Earth Day.

King Street, Friars Street, Port Street and part of Murray Place were closed to vehicles to allow a unique, pedestrian-focused environment.


A wide range of events, including come-and-try sports, live music, arts and crafts, story sessions, a silent disco and historical walking tours, proved hugely popular as people also visited Stirling’s shops, cafes and restaurants.

Cllr Chris Kane, Leader of Stirling Council, said: “It was fantastic to see so many local residents and visitors embracing Stirling’s second Open Streets festival.

“They clearly enjoyed the wide range of fun, free activities on offer in the spring sunshine, as well as sampling our diverse shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and cultural attractions.

Cllrs Gerry McGarvey and Chris Kane play Connect Four with children at the King Street roundel
Well connected... Chris Kane (right) and Councillor Gerry McGarvey enjoy fun in the sun with local children.

“There was a warm and friendly atmosphere around the city centre as people and families took over the streets in a safe and relaxed, car-free environment.

“The early feedback from visitors, businesses and partner organisations has been extremely positive, with the event highlighting the potential economic and environmental benefits of reclaiming Stirling’s key public spaces for pedestrians and making them more accessible for walking and cycling.

“I would like to thank all our staff involved in organising and managing the festival, along with all the organisations and businesses that took part and helped make the day such a success.”


Project Director at Go Forth Business Improvement District Stirling, Danielle McRorie-Smith, said: “We are delighted that the Open Streets programme was a roaring success for Stirling businesses.

“Our footfall counters have reported a 25% increase in footfall in the city centre on Saturday and individual business owners have confirmed their trade doubled.

“One of the defining features of Open Streets is that there was out-of-area vending on offer, which is often a feature of other outdoor events. It provided a great opportunity for local businesses to be innovative and attract new customers by engaging with the wide variety of events on offer.”


Nichola O'Neill, owner of King Cons, which hosted live music throughout the day as part of the event, said: "Open Streets was a fantastic event. As a small business we rely heavily on the local community supporting our business.

“The street festival created such a buzz and seeing people out and about was amazing. In fact, we had our best day in business to date since opening King Cons in September."


A group of children listen to story telling under a cherry tree
Children enjoyed a range of free activities - including story-telling in the sun.

A group of colourful dancers enjoy a 'silent disco' in front of the Fubar nightclub
Stirling streets were awash with colour...including these silent disco stalwarts.

A stonemason smiles as he teaches a child how to carve his name on a piece of sandstone.
A chip off the old block....Dylan McGrath (7) from Kinlochard enjoyed having a go at becoming a stonemason.

A keepie uppie expert sits on the ground and keeps a football skillfully in the air using his feet.
Keepy uppie king Ross Brown showed off his freestyle football skills.