People pack Tarbert for seafood in the sunshine

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Tarbert’s annual two-day seafood festival was blessed by lovely weather, encouraging people to come out in their droves.

The tempting aroma of seafood dishes wafted over the harbour on Saturday July 6 while locals and visitors alike browsed a huge variety of stalls from local groups and businesses.

Chef Mike Leslie of the Coachman Hotel, Kilsyth, returned to cook up delicious tasters using fresh local seafood and held a Ready, Steady, Cook challenge.

Also on offer along the harbour were seafood favourites, including Cullen skink, paella, langoustines and all sorts of other fruits of the sea.

TJ Mac provided musical entertainment from the trailer stage, there was street magic to enjoy and the irrepressible Absurdist Pipe Band created good-natured havoc in the smiling crowds.

The main event, though, was the crowning of this year’s Tarbert Seafood Festival Queen Nell Jackson MacFarlane, supported by her two princesses Codi MacDougall and Farrah MacCallum.

This year’s festival parade was a cracker, featuring colourful costumes and plenty of humour based on the theme of Musicals. A cast of parade characters from musicals including Grease, Miss Saigon, Cats, Mary Poppins and many others were led by Mid Argyll Pipe Band.

Sunday’s Beer on the Pier saw Tarbert’s fish quay packed full of party animals ready to rock to some of Scotland’s best festival acts.

Paolo Nutini and Olly Murs tributes joined the Under Wraps and Feeva for an afternoon of family fun.

For the first time the festival had its own pop-up restaurant, thanks to chef Mike Leslie, who was was joined by local chef Ross Payne of the Anchor Hotel and together they prepared a barbecued seafood feast for the lucky people who had booked their tables. All proceeds go to the festival.

Sunday also featured the prizegiving. Once again the Loch Fyne Gallery awarded prizes to each of the children who took part in its colouring competition.

The winner of the shop window competition was the Argyll Gift Company, with the Loch Fyne Gallery in second and the Church of Scotland Thrift Shop in third.

The best float in Saturday’s parade went to the Pink Ladies and Shrek picked up the cup for best in the parade.