Historically accurate fun at the Lochgilphead Celtic and Pictish Festival

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Lochgilphead’s latest local festival invited some colourful characters ashore onto the front green on Saturday August 3.

Over 500 visitors, including Celts, Picts, Vikings and Romans, enjoyed the Lochgilphead Celtic and Pictish festival celebrating the heritage of Scotland.

Put together by the Lochgilphead Community Council and the Lochgilphead Phoenix Project, stalls and activities brought the ancient and simpler times to the front green with items like salt lamps and craft mead mere feet away from weapons demonstrations and wood carving.

The much-loved Glasgow Vikings returned for this year’s event, fresh from conquering Tarbert for the Loch Fyne Viking Festival still riled up and ready for more. They opened the day with a procession through the festival and the raising of the Pan-Celtic flag which is a combination of the six Celtic nations.

They then judged the fancy dress competition which saw some lucky mini-Vikings win medals for their amazing costumes and ferocious battle cries.

In another example of education amongst the fun, The Glasgow Vikings then gave a demonstration of ancient weapons, with dramatic deaths to really drive the point home.

Music was provided by Clanadonia, who are known for appearing on TV’s Outlander. With drums that hit like Thor’s hammer and piping that put a spring in everyone’s step, they were a welcome and fitting addition to the festival.

The stalls had various ancient skills on display, such as artist Margaret Ker’s labyrinth having visitors wander in circles to find their centre. Highland Glass offered glass painting and clay moulding, and Kilmartin Museum put together a dig to demonstrate the perks of archaeology.

Festival organiser Brian MacLennan said: ‘The festival was a huge success this year with visitors from as far afield as Liverpool. I’ve had lots of positive feedback from visitors, performers and stall holders with everybody I’ve spoken to being keen to come back next year. The local shops I’ve spoken to have reported an upturn in business for the day and we can confidently say that we will be back bigger than ever next year as plans are already underway.

‘As always, we couldn’t do this without our performers, providers and great team of volunteers who are vital to keep things running smoothly through the day. Thanks also to our sponsors: DA MacDonald, Scottish Canals, Harbro, The Square Peg and Travis Perkins, anybody who donated to the crowdfunding campaign and other fundraising activities and to our other local helpers and supporters Macleod Construction, The MS Centre, MAYDS, Stag Hotel, 19th Argyll Scouts, and the Community Centre.

‘We’re really excited for the continued growth of this now firmly established highlight on the local calendar.’