Published: 30/05/2017 09:00 - Updated: 01/06/2017 13:02

Coastal Fringe was sunshine success

Written byChris Saunderson

THE sun shone on the Coastal Fringe festival as people descended on Banff and Macduff for a weekend of fun and community celebration.

The Guarana Street Drummers were a real hit at the festival.
The Guarana Street Drummers were a real hit at the festival.

The festival was a great success with venues across both towns busy with locals and visitors.

Centred around Banff Castle on Saturday and Sunday, the festival was expanded this year to take in 10 different venues with a range of events under the Coastal Fringe umbrella.

Roweena Dearsley and Lynn Bellingham, of Banff Art Club, were the main organisers, with support from other club members and Ian Williams and volunteers from the Twin Towns United Regeneration Forum (Turf). M

Aberdeenshire Council hosted a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Banff Marina, which included music from the Macduff Strathpsey and Reel Society, a sandcaste competition, paddleboarding and a raft race.

Duff House staged have-a-go art for members of the public and a history game where people had to guess the age of local landmarks.

Banff Parish Church hosted a kirk cafe and flower festival, including a teabag angel display and there was also a farmers market at Macduff. Banff Rotary Club stages its annual cycle challenge on Sunday, which attracted more than 100 participants.

Events at the castle included art and photo exhibitions, drumming and circus workshops, stalls, car boot sale, Banff Castle Pipe Band, live Music in the Marquee on Sunday, and singing by Doug Hay and Graham Legge and magic mayhem from Dean Spruce.

Mrs Dearsley said: "It all came together really well. From what I have seen on Facebook everybody has been very positive about it."

"A massive amount of work went into the festival and the art club is really happy with the way things went."

She thanked all the volunteers who gave up their time to support the festival in the planning stage and over the weekend. Without that goodwill, she added, it could not have happened. Many groups and organisations also supported the weekend.

She also praised the "extreme generosity" of people who gave donations at the castle gates, which will help towards the costs.

While the weather was kind over the weekend, with a very warm and sunny Saturday and a largely dry, if more overcast Sunday, Mrs Dearsley said Cllr John Cox had offered the use of the Deveronside Social Club for free for the Sunday marquee event in the case of high winds.

She thanked Lynn Bellingham for her support and team work and their families for helping out before and during the festival.

Bryan and Carla Angus led an artist workshop, while Bob Philips rallied extra musicians, including Bob Sharpe who played at the public performance in the afternoon event. The 8th annual Haal traditional music festival, organised by Bob and his team, takes place in Portsoy this weekend.

The Guarana Street Drummers were a real hit with the children and one of the youngest visitors to the festival was 14-month-old Cody French, from Banff, who had great fun on the drums. We featured Cody last May after he needed a life-saving operation two days after he was born to correct a condition which mean this bowels were inside his chest and pressing on his lungs.

Mum Lisa revealed on Saturday that Cody is going great and he certainly looked a picture of health when he took part in a drumming workshop.

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