The 2018 Scottish Traditional Boat Festival took place over the weekend of 30th June & 1st July. For the first time in several years, Portsoy basked in glorious sunshine for the entirety of the event, bringing visitors to the town in droves to enjoy the Festival.
There was music, crafts, art, food and drink aplenty over the weekend, enjoyed by the enthusiastic visitors who soaked up the Festival atmosphere.
We welcomed boats large and small to the town’s two harbours, including Festival favourite Isabella Fortuna, Comet BF 430, Topaz BF 1822 and Brunhilde, to name but a few. Skiff crews joined in competitive challenges on the water, much to the delight of the crowds lining the quayside.
We were delighted to have Scotland’s own Dougie MacLean join us. Famed for the hit ‘Caledonia’, Dougie enthralled his audience at the Friday Night Gig at the Green event.
In our International Marquee by the Old Harbour we welcomed performers, dancers and skilled crafts men and women from Latvia and Estonia thanks to funding from the North Aberdeenshire LEADER programme.
Visitors could learn about Kuldiga, its welcoming charm and abundant nature, including the local flying fish. They were also treated to performances of traditional music on a ‘kokle, an authentic Latvian string instrument. Traditional foods were provided for sampling, including shiitake mushrooms and Sklandrusis, a Latvian sweet pie made from carrots and potatoes.
Beautiful textile items were showcased, glass jewellery was created and children were invited to paint glass fish to take home. Youth dance theatre group ‘Focus’, performed ‘The Story of a Seaman’, a beautiful dance routine which was very well received by visitors.
Visitors were invited to sample culinary delights with cucumber and honey, while demonstrations introduced ways to use gin for marinating fish, giving it a new and refreshing twist.
Crafts on show included canvas bags, whilst rope making and net making were also demonstrated. A talented young chainsaw carver demonstrated his skill carving oversized sculptures including a dolphin and bear. Folk dance group Ulejala presented a romantic story from a small fishing village in Estonia
All in all an excellent event which was well attended much to the delight of the organisers, with a small financial surplus generated as a safety bank for future years events.
The next Festival takes place on 22nd & 23rd June 2019 – our 26th Festival – see you then!