Big gala weekend is here

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Final preparations are being made for the big gala weekend on Arran. Both Lamlash and Whiting Bay take top billing in a packed weekend which also sees the first ever Makers’ Festival and the 40th anniversary of the Arran Heritage Museum – not forgetting the Grinduro cycling event.

The Lamlash Heather Queen crowning and fun day – which is a time honoured tradition on Arran – will offer visitors to the Lamlash green on Saturday, a number of fun activities and stalls which are bound to have something for everyone. The fun starts with the parade from the clock tower which sets off with a fanfare at 1pm and there will be fancy dress, best dressed pram and your cutest pet competitions to enter.

The following day, Sunday, marks the start of a very busy week for residents and visitors to Whiting Bay’s week of fun activities. Starting with one of the most popular, the raft race followed by the crowning of the Bay Queen. The week-long itinerary continues with up to four events a day and concludes with the incredibly popular duck race on Saturday July 20, which was attended by hundreds of visitors last year.

Set for success the Brodick Castle Makers Festival has kicked off for the first time today with a three day extravaganza aimed at makers, creatives and many more besides. Music, workshops, demonstrations and stalls from various groups and individuals on Arran will ensure that this event will hit the ground running and become a regular fixture on the summer calendar.

There is, of course, still time to catch the tail end of the Kildonan celebrations as the Oriental food tasting event takes place this evening (Friday) and the grand finale on Saturday, the beach games and sports, still awaits those hoping to enjoy some outdoors fun on the beach. Then there is also the opportunity to catch a mystery film in the village hall at 7pm. Best enjoyed with nibbles, drinks and friends.

And the fun continues next weekend with the Lochranza Gala Weekend – offering even more unmissable events.

Starting on a high note the Argyll Ceilidh Trail band will start the proceedings on Thursday July 18 with a licenced bar and family ceilidh taking place at the village hall. At the same venue the following evening an enjoyable quiz will take place with participants enjoying a light supper.

Saturday July 20 sees the highlight of the weekend with the Arran Pipe Band performing at the Castle Spit at 1.30pm. Following this visitors will join the pirate themed march to the village hall where a number of stalls, a barbeque and live music will await the revellers. Kids games, a dog show and a bogie race on the castle spit will complete the list of fun activities while in the evening a live band, Soundcradle, will entertain the crowds.

The following day, Sunday, promises to be a less energetic day with a seashore scramble hosted by COAST in the morning and an afternoon barbecue and teddy bears picnic and duck derby for those wanting a relaxing ending to an eventful weekend.


King Neptune Raymond Jeffrey and his Sea Queen Jessica Kerr at the Lochranza Gala Week back in 2001. 01_B28gala01

Last year’s newly crowned Lamlash Heather Queen Keira Willis will lead the parade this year. 01_B29queen01