Smiles defeat the drizzle at Tarbert Seafood Festival

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Fish would have been happy with the weather as plenty of water fell from grey skies, but this did not stop Tarbert Seafood Festival from being a huge success.

Visitors and local people, decked out in wet weather gear and carrying brollies, turned out in droves to enjoy this two-day festival of fun and food.

Tarbert is enjoying a deserved reputation as the festival capital of Argyll, with a series of friendly events held annually on the shores of Loch Fyne.

Last weekend the seafood festival saw the harbour lined with a variety of stalls by local businesses and hotels, showcasing the many local delicacies on offer. The festival welcomed back chef Mike Leslie from the Coachman Hotel in Kilsyth on festival Saturday for his famous cookery demonstrations.

One of the festival highlights is always the crowning of Tarbert Seafood Festival Queen. After their traditional arrival by boat on the St Clair, Queen Jacquelyn Clark along with her princesses Beth Johnstone and Robyn MacFie smiled their way in the drizzle along the street before being crowned by Tarbert Harbour master Donald McAllister.

Saturday’s big festival procession was led by Mid Argyll Pipe Band, with this year’s parade theme being ‘nursery rhymes’. Plenty of colour and imagination went into the costumes, with people of all ages taking part.

The Clan Stunt Team stunned onlookers with skill and dexterity on bikes, while the Absurdist Pipe Band had everyone smiling with their absurdly entertaining tunes and antics.

Ceilidh’s Homet performed on the Saturday, with hugely popular local band The Democrats back again for this year’s festival Sunday. Young Highland dancers from James McCorkindale School of Dance in Campbeltown added some Scottish culture to entertain the crowds.

And to burn off all that fantastic seafood, talented all-girl lineup Mania  had people dancing in the streets of Tarbert with a string of tribute hits.

Festival joint organiser Margaret MacNeill said: ‘The wet weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, I’m pleased to say.

‘Thanks to the stallholders, entertainers and everyone who got dressed up and took part in the parade – well done. The festival queen and her princesses were beautiful and kept smiling throughout, and thanks as well to everyone who came along to cheer and support the event.’