Past times, present fun in Lochgilphead

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Organisers reckon 450 people came along to enjoy a dip into the past.

Lochgilphead Community Council’s annual Celtic and Pictish Festival is gathering momentum year on year as it grows into an event with a character all of its own.

Morning shoppers on Argyll Street were treated to the unusual sight of Picts, Vikings and Romans parading to Lochgilphead front green to begin the festivities. In front of the parade was musician Pat Kenny playing haunting tones on a carnyx, an Iron Age Celtic war horn.

On the green there were stands selling everything from soap to artwork and woolly bunnets to garden shrubs.

As well as battle re-enactments and weapons demonstrations there were living history demonstrations and workshops where adults and children tried their hand at traditional crafts such as spinning, weaving, metalworking, woodwork, dressing up and blowing the carnyx.

Children took part in the Lughnasa Games, featuring various tests of Celtic warrior skills.

Brian MacLennan of Lochgilphead Community Council said: ‘The day was a massive success and I’ve had lots of positive feedback. Having a full programme of events in the arena as well as lots workshops for adults and youngsters to take part in throughout the day, has really made a big difference this year.’

He added: ‘I would like to give a special mention to the 19th Argyll Scouts, the MS Centre and Lochgilphead Parish Church, without whom I’d have had no marquees, tables or chairs, and to Bluestone Gift Shop, the Grubs Up Recovery Cafe and the new Scottish Canals Steamer Terminal in Ardrishaig who all stepped in on the day before the festival with the additional funding and sponsorship that I needed to ensure the full scale festival could go ahead as planned.

‘I’d also like to thank all the performers, providers and other contributors for making such a great day and would especially like to thank the volunteers who helped set up the site on Friday night and took everything down and away on Saturday evening.

‘I’m already thinking of ways to make the festival even bigger and better next year.’