Rain doesn’t dampen seafood spirits

Princess Caelyn Graham, Seafood Queen Keira Guy and Princess Macey Fair with Ann Horn at the opening.

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Tarbert’s Seafood Festival was back with a splash last weekend as residents and visitors celebrated the much-loved two-day festival.

Despite showery weather, crowds descended on Tarbert from mid-morning on Saturday to visit the stalls which lined the harbour selling crafts and tasty treats.

Among the pakora, burgers, confectionery and home-baking seafood was, of course, the order of the day.

Fresh fish was for sale, to be taken home and cooked later, but if you couldn’t wait to eat, seafood dishes were being prepared and cooked by some local restaurants. This really was the perfect place to be for any seafood lover.

Tarbert Seafood Festival isn’t just about food; it’s about family fun and this year the festival delivered it by the tractor load.

The official start of the event is the crowning of the Seafood Queen. This year the honour was given to Keira Guy, who was joined in royal duties by her princesses Caelyn Graham and Macey Fair.

It fell to Anne Horn to introduce Tarbert’s 2022 ‘royal family’ to the assembled crowd before 2019 Seafood Queen Nell Jackson placed the Seafood Festival crown on Keira’s head.

No Seafood Festival is complete without a parade and the theme this year was Down on the Farm which featured all creatures great and small – from Old MacDonald’s Farm to Clarkson’s Farm with Tarbert FARMacy also making an appearance.

Street entertainment was provided by the talented Dimitri who juggled, modelled balloons and unicycled his way into the hearts of the crowd.

Polly Hoops had youngsters of all ages trying to master the art of hula hooping and the Absurdist Pipe Band made sure everyone was in the festival spirit.

And that festival spirit continued into Sunday with the return of Beer on the Pier, where the crowd was entertained by girl group Feeva, a tribute to Robbie Williams and Freddie Mercury, who had everyone singing along, and local favourites the Democrats.

The official part of the afternoon saw the serious business of the Seafood Festival prizegiving.

Margaret MacNeill presented the prizes, on behalf of the festival committee, to the youngsters who had taken part in the shop window and art competitions.

The Best Float was awarded to Laura MacGregor, Best in Parade went to Tarbert FARMacy and Best Shop Window, which took a different direction this year, went to Helen Preston for her outstanding artwork on Saturday’s trailer stage.

Speaking to the crowd Margaret said: ‘We are so glad to see so many of you here, despite the weather.

‘As always, I’d like to give a special thanks to our valued and vital sponsors, Argyll and Bute Council, Tarbert Harbour Authority and Tarbert Enterprise Company.

‘There are too many people to thank individually, but I must thank our wonderful ‘royal family’. Thank you to Queen Keira and Princesses Caelyn and Macey. You did the village proud.

‘I’m delighted we have been able to hold the festival this year but we have to remember why we haven’t been able to be together since 2019. With that in mind, I’d like you to raise a toast to absent friends.’

As the 2022 Tarbert Seafood Festival comes to a close, the planning starts for next year, July 1-2 2023.

Captions:

The Absurdist Pipe Band entertain. NO_A27seafood01

Princess Caelyn Graham, Seafood Queen Keira Guy and Princess Macey Fair with Ann Horn at the opening. NO_A27seafood03

Feeva on stage, entertaining the crowds with their cover hits. NO_A27seafood04

Mid Argyll Pipe band led the parade at this year’s Tarbert Seafood Festival. NO_A27seafood05

Old MacDonald and his pal take part in the Down on the Farm parade. NO_A27seafood07

Princess Caelyn Graham, Seafood Queen Keira Guy and Princess Macey Fair. NO_A27seafood08

Street entertainer Dimitri. NO_A27seafood09

Tarbert Farmacy take part in the Down on the Farm parade. NO_A27seafood10