Inaugural gala to show off our island

People enjoying the miniature railway at last year's event.
People enjoying the miniature railway at last year's event.

A new gala weekend event aimed at showcasing the island will be held in Rothesay later this month, promising fun for all ages.

Rothesay Gala on June 30 and July 1 will feature donkey rides, puppet shows, a train ride, beach activities, live music and more, held at the promenade, gardens and Bute Discovery Centre.

The event has been organised by the Isle of Bute Trust. Its chairman Alisdair Johnston said: “Port Bannatyne has a very successful gala, but there is nothing like that in Rothesay. It’s a much bigger proposition than what we put on last year. We had a small event on the promenade last August, with the sit-on model railway. It was very successful and we could see there was obviously an appetite for this sort of thing in Rothesay. So this will be the first such event we have done on this scale.

“The idea for a bigger event seems to have grown very quickly. Bute is on the rebound. So the Trust said lets add something to the calendar.

“The first weekend of the school holidays is an ideal time to do it. And the Waverley is coming in that weekend as well. I’m hoping for good weather and that everybody has a good time. And comes back next year.

“We want as many people to come to Bute as possible, to enjoy the gala and enjoy Bute itself. And maybe they will come back the next week, or even next month.”

Alisdair hopes the gala will entertain all ages and added that he hopes to welcome the team behind the return of the Bluebird hydroplane, set to be tested on Loch Fad in August.

He said: “There will be a lot to do at the gala. Obviously the train again and we will have some beach activities.

“Having the Discovery Centre also means we can have a lot of stuff in there also, which is quite handy if the weather isn’t great and means we can still go-ahead.

“We will have a lot of educational things in there and lots of groups from the island also, talking about what they do.

“We are hoping that the guys from the Bluebird are up so they can talk about it.

“So it should be fun for all the family, not just the kids. We are hoping to cater for a pretty big spectrum.”

Rothesay Gala, June 30 and July 1, 10am-4pm. Tickets £5 each, £15 for family ticket.