Hundreds turned out in force to watch the Red Arrows perform as part of Peterhead Scottish Week on Wednesday evening, but it could have been a much different story.
A display at RAF Lossiemouth had been cancelled due to low clouds earlier in the day and there were fears right up until the last moments that the same fate could be bestowed upon the evening performance.
However the hundreds who had turned out, filling car parks and streets surrounding Peterhead Bay, were not left disappointed.
Before the display started, Harry Kay, ground crew engineer for the RAF, said: “We’re excited to be back. We have been set up here since midday talking to lots of people and there is definitely a lot of excitement from everyone.
“The Scottish weather is unpredictable which means the display is uncertain right to the last minute and there needs to be a safety inspection before the final decision is made, but hopefully it will all go ahead as planned.”
The Banff Castle Pipe Band kept the crowds entertained before the Red Arrows took to the sky just after 7pm.
The eager crowd let out loud cheers as the aircrafts appeared, creating their signature stripes of colour overhead.
Onlookers Lisa Rutherford and Allan Gray were excited to see the Red Arrows perform in Peterhead after their display was cancelled at RAF Lossiemouth.
Mr Gray said: “We still got to see some jets but unfortunately the Red Arrows were cancelled so we’re really glad we got to see them here.
“It was really good and the nice weather helped. I’ve seen other displays in the past where it’s been raining and much less people have come out.
“Having so many people here is truly nice to see.”
Mother and daughter duo Carole and Kim Thomson had been planning their trip out to watch the display for some time and always make sure to see the Red Arrows when they are in town.
“The display was brilliant,” said Kim. “Having the Red Arrows perform here is great for the community and it is so good to see so many people out.
“It’s such a lovely evening too, we’re excited to be here. We came prepared with a blanket and snacks.
“The traffic will be heaving on the way home, but it will definitely be worth it to have seen the display tonight.”
Lynne McIntyre, owner of Dizzy’s Sweets, returned to her hometown for the event and had been selling sweet treats non-stop.
She said: “It has been absolutely crazy, I’ve been doing a dance all evening serving customers from all directions.
“This is the biggest event of the year and the crowds have been much bigger than normal. I expected everyone to head off straight after the display but people have been sticking around.
“It’s a really good crowd.”
Here are more stunning images from today’s mixed formation involving the #RedArrows and the #Poseidon MRA1 at #RAF Lossiemouth. Read about it here: https://t.co/ZZ8WKlyrNn
📸 Cpl Adam Fletcher pic.twitter.com/vwgI0uU5NO
— Red Arrows (@rafredarrows) July 21, 2021
A scheduled display set to take place at RAF Lossiemouth in the afternoon didn’t make it through the pre-flight safety checks. The only dampener on an otherwise enjoyable occasion.
The Red Arrows’ social media was awash with stunning images from a mixed formation at the base though, involving the Poseidon MRA1.
Locals said this Red Arrows display drew a much larger crowd than past events and it is safe to say the good weather encouraged more people to head outdoors.
There was a great atmosphere in the town with families, friends and even dogs enjoying the fun fair set up and music playing through the speakers.
The aircrafts made quite the entrance and completely grabbed the attention of the crowd with their impressive performance.
A running commentary of the performance – which filled the air with white, red and blue smoke – kept the crowds on track throughout.
And there was even a giant heart created in the sky to mark the occasion.