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Call for volunteers to help ensure smooth sailing for Portsoy Boat Festival

Portsoy's annual Traditional Boat Festival will be returning after two years. Supplied by Lauren Anderson/ STBF Portsoy.
Portsoy's annual Traditional Boat Festival will be returning after two years. Supplied by Lauren Anderson/ STBF Portsoy.

Organisers of a hugely popular festival celebrating the north-east’s maritime history are appealing for volunteers to help it run smoothly.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival will return next month for its 29th year.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Portsoy for the event on June 18 and 19, with boat clubs from Germany, Norway and Sweden already signed up.

This year, organisers of the event are asking for more people to help as the festival returns to in-person for the first time since Covid. 

David Urquhart, chairman of the committee, said: “Without the support of volunteers, we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver an event of this scale and quality. They play such an important role.

“We need their support with the huge amount of planning involved prior to the festival, but also on the ground, helping with the set up, making sure everything runs smoothly over the weekend and with the clean-up, after the event.”

In return for helping, volunteers will receive free day entry to enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment of the festival.

‘Push yourself out of your comfort zone’

This year Celtic rockers from Skerryvore will kickstart the event on June 18 at the Big Gig on the Back Green. More acts are lined up over the weekend and renowned premier heritage boats will be on display.

Mr Urquhart added: “We are looking forward to bringing the whole community together to celebrate our wonderful region and restore that sense of civic pride, that we’ve not been able to do in the last couple of years.”

“If anyone can spare some time, then please get in touch.”

Premier boats are usually seen docked in the harbour for the event. Picture by Jim Irvine/DCT Media

June Masson was involved at the very first festival in Portsoy which was held to celebrate 300 years since the old harbour was built.

Having enjoyed volunteering in many different roles for the event over the years, she said there was always a “great community spirit” at the festival.

She urged others to get involved and said: “This year, we are looking for people to fill a variety of roles such as supporting the ticket office and stewarding during the event.

“There will be a 2k and a 10k road race and we also need people to come forward to marshall the routes.

“It really does give a sense of pride and achievement being part of such a fantastic event, seeing visitors enjoying the food, the entertainment and having fun makes it all worthwhile.

“I would urge as many people as possible to get involved. You can give as much or as little of your time as you like. You might even learn some new skills or push yourself out of your comfort zone.”

To join the volunteer team at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival or to find out more, e-mail contact@stbfportsoy.org or call 01261 842951.

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