The Moy Country Fair returned after a two-year absence, featuring a packed programme of countryside activities to entice a new broader audience.
Previously known as the Fair at Moy, the event transformed during the enforced Covid break to include a more diverse line-up than ever before.
Despite the unpredictable weather, hundreds arrived at the muddy Moy Estate on the banks of Loch Moy for all things country.
Activities like fly-casting on the loch, archery, clay pigeon shooting and terrier racing were all available for crowds to watch.
Throughout the event’s 40-year history, organisers have highlighted local produce and producers across the region and educated crowds on Highland culture.
This year included a food theatre where talented chefs showed off their culinary skills and local farmers shared their delicious home-grown produce with the public.
It was the first time many were displaying at the Moy Country Fair, given the event’s cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.
While there were not as many stands as before, it was a more varied offering from RNLI and NatureScot to local traders like the Corrie Company and Riverside Silver.
‘A lovely opportunity to try some local foods’
RNLI volunteers were there to run water safety demonstrations educating people on the importance of staying safe while swimming or paddle boarding this year.
The intermittent weather could not damper people’s spirits as many were happy to see people mingling again.
Moray Ralph, from Elgin, said: “It’s a lovely opportunity to try some local foods and drinks and just see a gathering of people once again coming back to Moy.
“Children, animals, dogs it’s been a lovely day altogether. I think it’s really important to support events like these and make sure this continues for many years to come.”
Susan Van Dias, from Bonar Bridge, said: “It is my first time here, and I have enjoyed myself enormously.
“I like to just sit and watch people and had a blast watching the scurry dogs show.”
With a variety of exhibitors and stands, it has drawn a wider audience of people interested in the countryside lifestyle and outdoors.
Moira Dennis, from Dunphail, was worried she might not have the right clothes for the occasion and was surprised the event wasn’t as “exclusive” as she thought.
She said: “I’ve never been before, and I was concerned I might not be wearing the right clothing for an event like this.
“I assumed it was much more exclusive and for people who love country sports, but it has been a good day out, and there has been more variety than I thought.
“The atmosphere as well has been very friendly and relaxing, and it’s great to see people back together after such a long time away.”
A change in emphasis for Moy Country Fair
Garrick Begg, a member of the Moy Country Fair committee, said: “It’s great to see so many people back and so many interesting stands.
“There been a change of emphasis from previous years, so we have a lot more interesting food, drink and local produce.
“There’s nothing else like this in the Highlands, and it’s really important to have events like this, so we get a chance to educate people on country life.”
Proceeds from the Moy Country Fair have gone to charities over its long history, with £792,600 donated to date.
Event organisers hope to build on this new fresh start post-Covid and introduce a wider group of people to the best of country life.