Crowds of people descended on New Deer today for the opening day of an annual agricultural show.
The New Deer Show includes a packed programme for visitors of all ages, including livestock competitions, a huge horse show, demonstrations and this year, a truck and tractor festival.
Tomorrow’s line-up includes a family fun day featuring clay pigeon shooting, pony club games and children’s races.
First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened the event and described it – and other rural events – as the “unsung heroes” who promote Scotland’s traditions and heritage worldwide.
He said such events also boosted community spirit and support for local businesses, such as the regional food and drink sector.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP said: “The New Deer show is a much-loved and eagerly anticipated local event that the whole wider community loyally turn up for year in, year out and thoroughly enjoy.
“Rural events the length and breadth of Scotland are the jewel in the Year of Homecoming crown, the unsung heroes promoting our heritage and traditional way of life.
“They also support many regional businesses who come along to sell their produce, such as our exceptional local food and drink entrepreneurs.”
The show has been supported by Aberdeenshire Council, as well as £17,500 of funding from the Scottish Government.
Mr Salmond said a further £250,000 of funding had been allocated to further boost the food and drink element at a number of events across the year.
Drew Wilson, the show’s president, said: “2014 is the 167th year of the New Deer Show and we have the very best of the region on display here this weekend.”
Also taking place in Aberdeenshire this weekend is the Stonehaven Highland Games.
The event returns after a two-year break, with heavyweights and athletes due to compete at Mackie Academy from 11am tomorrow.
There will also be tug of war, piping and Highland dancing competitions, as well as the traditional events such as the light hammer and caber tossing.
Full coverage of both events will be available online and in the P&J on Monday.