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WATCH: Scottish Traditional Boat Festival


By Chris Saunderson


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PORTSOY came alive with the buzz of the return of its Scottish Traditional Boat Festival on Saturday.

Portsoy Pipe Band played to open the festival.
Portsoy Pipe Band played to open the festival.

Thousands flocked to the coastal village to celebrate the first in-person festival since 2019 due to the pandemic.

The atmosphere was amazing as people enjoyed good food, music and the rich maritime heritage.

They enjoyed the sunshine and the feelgood spirit.

It was great to see people back at the historic harbour and other venues along the seafront.

The Isabella Fortuna which sailed from Wick to be part of the festival.
The Isabella Fortuna which sailed from Wick to be part of the festival.

The Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andrew Simpson, who opened the festival, paid tribute to the organisers.

"It's just tremendous to see people back. The wonderful thing about Portsoy and the traditions we have got here, the community really does come together to make this big event happen, not just for Portsoy, not just the north of Scotland or Banffshire but for Scotland.

"This is a really national event. The boat festival has managed to make a place for itself in the calendar and people come from all over the world.

"All credit to the committee and the many volunteers. It is an amazing achievement. The population of the village must be quadrupled over the weekend."

The crowds enjoyed the entertainment in the sunshine.
The crowds enjoyed the entertainment in the sunshine.

The main focus was around the historic harbour area, with music and dance throughout the day, stalls, crafts, The Boatshed, a variety of historic boats, a food fayre at the Back Green, buskers, raft race, and much more besides.

The festival is such a relaxed occasion and it was hard to comprehend it has been missing the last two years due to Covid, albeit there was a virtual festival in 2021 after it was cancelled in 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

It puts Portsoy on the events map and has done for years.

The village has also benefited from becoming a film location, with its historic buildings proving perfect for the likes of the film Whisky Galore and the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders.

Boats of all shapes and sizes were on display, in and out of the water.
Boats of all shapes and sizes were on display, in and out of the water.

Two classic cars from the final season of the show – with two episodes filmed in and around the historic harbour in Portsoy in February 2021 – are on display at the boat festival this weekend.

The festival concludes on Sunday with a packed programme from 9.45am at the Harbour stage, Back Green and Drying Green.

The list of sponsors is long and impressive, and the organising committee, headed by David Urquhart, could not have put together such a busy programme without this crucial backing.

If you want to experience the festival for yourself on Sunday find out more at https://stbfportsoy.org/


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