Earlier this week, the 66th annual Taxi Trade Children’s Outing filled the streets of Edinburgh with colour and fun. In honour of the Olympic Games being held in London this year, a mock Olympic torch was paraded on the roof of a specially decorated taxi. This annual event is a coming together of the city’s three largest black cab firms with their drivers creating a memorable fancy dress event for Edinburgh’s children. This year, an estimated 60 taxis were involved.
This annual outing has not been interrupted since it was founded shortly after World War II. Anyone who is involved in the convoy and wearing a uniform can expect a hail of water to rain down on them as children are given water pistols and invited to spray water on those in the parade. The kids are brought to Musselburgh where they receive ice cream for free before being safely returned home.
Lord Provost, Donald Wilson was among the judges at this year’s event and they gave special awards to the three most originally decorated taxis. The Olympics Taxi was one of the trio singled out for praise. Experienced taxi drivers Alex McTaggart and Duncan Reilly were jointly responsible for running the winning Olympic taxi. Mr Reilly was delighted with the recognition and stated that this was his 17th year of involvement and was also keen to point out that he received an award on numerous previous occasions. He continued by saying that he always likes to decorate the taxi based on current events and since the Olympic torch is heading to Edinburgh this week, the Olympic taxi was the perfect idea.
Scott Walton is one of the main organisers of the event and was delighted with the attendance and number of participants. He admitted that the drivers have a competitive spirit and like to keep their taxis under wraps until the event. Walton said that the entire parade is to keep the kids entertained and he spoke of his delight when seeing the children of the city jumping up and down with excitement. He admitted that the water balloons and water pistols were the highlight for many kids who enjoyed soaking the drivers.
Lord Provost, Donald Wilson was also quick to praise the event and those who participated. He stated that it was an institution within the city and was also for a worthy cause. He concluded by saying that he would be on the first leg of the tour and was expecting to get soaked.