Tarbert basks in sunny seafood success

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By Janet West

The sun came out and so did the crowds to enjoy Tarbert Seafood Festival.

Spread over two days on the first weekend in July, the family friendly festival is a celebration of Tarbert’s seafood heritage and local hotels, restaurants and other food producers lined the harbour offering a flavour of what the area has to offer.

Saturday’s highlight is the crowning of the Seafood Queen and Princesses. The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for this year’s Queen Chloe Macdonald, who together with her Princesses Caitlyn Prentice and Cara Mackie were introduced to the crowd by Rev Robert Macleod and Councillor Anne Horn.

Tarbert’s new Royal Family then led the famous festival parade where locals and visitors alike dressed up and joined in with this year’s Heroes and Villains theme.  Pirates and superheroes watched on as Cruella De Vil and her dogcatcher tried to capture more Dalmatian puppies. And the Batmobile was hot on the trail of the Joker who was seen heading through the village with Poison Ivy.

One of the festival’s most eagerly anticipated events is the cookery demonstrations, once again led by Mike Leslie of Kilsyth’s Coachman Hotel. The market area was packed as cooks got some professional tips on how to prepare and cook seafood.

While the adults tucked into some of Tarbert’s finest fish and shellfish, younger festival-goers were being wowed by the gravity defying Clan Stunt Bike Team, before learning new skills in the circus workshop.

Highland dancing displays plus performances by festival regulars Mid Argyll Pipe Band ensured there was something for everyone, before Sunday’s Beer on the Pier, where party people of all ages packed Tarbert’s quay, ready to be entertained.

Girl band Feeva promised and delivered ‘cheesy tunes’ and were closely followed by Scotland’s number one Take That cover band, Could It Be Take That, to keep the party atmosphere going. Local band The Democrats brought the curtain down on this year’s festival in style.

With just three people in the festival committee it fell to organiser Margaret MacNeill to comment on this year’s event saying: ‘Thank you to everyone who came and joined in with this year’s Seafood Festival. This weekend is about celebrating the heart of Tarbert and we’re delighted so many people came to join us. Special thanks must go to our wonderful Queen Chloe and Princesses Caitlyn and Cara who were absolute stars.’


Queen Chloe with Princesses Caitlyn Prentice and Cara Mackie. no_a28tarbseafood01