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Fisherfolk Festival celebrates rich coastal culture through story and song

Mermaid of the North statue in Balintore. Picture by Jason Hedges.
Mermaid of the North statue in Balintore. Picture by Jason Hedges.

The Seaboard Villages Fisherfolk Festival, which brings people together through story and song, will take place this weekend.

Hilton, Balintore and Shandwick make up the Seaboard Villages on the Easter Ross coast.

The area’s annual festival is set over five venues between May 27 and 29, boasting live music, workshops and storytelling to celebrate the villages’ rich cultural history.

Children will be able to enjoy learning to mend nets and a dedicated play zone, while adults can indulge in whisky tastings and cooking demonstrations.

Songs of the sea and the land will be brought to the festival by famed singer and songwriter Archie Fisher, Tain-based Gaelic singer Carrie Afrin and Scots songstress Aileen Carr.

Tales will be told in Scots, English and Gaelic and will highlight Pictish and Viking history.

Seaboard Villages Fisherfolk Festival.

The Seaboard Centre will be the food hub of the festival with stalls and, of course, fish and chips. Talks from local authors, exhibitions, film screenings and an outdoor dance event will also be held at the centre.

There will be an open day at the Pictish stone site in Hilton, events in the newly-opened John Ross Visitor Centre and Tap Room Tales in the Balintore Inn each night.

Funding from VisitScotland’s 2022 Year of Storytelling has enabled organisers to showcase three resident storytellers plus the Pictish domestic re-enactment group the Rhynie Wifies.

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